Zlatan Arsic, foto: BIRN

Kosovo Court Acquits Serb of Wartime Assault

Pristina Basic Court cleared Zlatan Arsic of violently assaulting a man and burning his house in an attack by Serbian police in the Kamenice/Kamenica area during the Kosovo war in March 1999.

Pristina Basic Court on Monday found Zlatan Arsic, a Serb who is now a Kosovo border policeman, not guilty of committing war crimes in 1999.

“After the administration of the evidence and witness testimonies, the prosecution has not been able to argue the fact that the defendant Arsic was a member of the Serbian police and could not prove that he was the one who mistreated [victim] B.M. or that he [Arsic] burned his house,” judge Valbona Musliu-Selmanaj said in court while announcing the verdict.

The prosecution claimed that in March 1999, together with other uniformed and armed members of the Serbian police, Arsic kicked and beat the victim identified by the initials B.M. with rubber batons.

It alleged that Arsic “inhumanely tortured him for an hour and a half, causing serious injuries, trauma and consequences for his health, and seriously threatening his life”.

Arsic, a Kosovo border policeman who is currently on paid suspension over an unrelated case, had pleaded not guilty to all charges when the trial started in November 2023.

Arsic was suspended from the Kosovo border police after he was arrested in September 2020 on suspicion of allowing the smuggling of goods in the village of Karaceve in the Kamenice/Kamenica municipality.

Monday’s verdict was a first-instance ruling and can be appealed.

and 05/02/2024 - 13:48

05 February 2024 - 13:48

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