Police officers secure the scene where unknown assailants opened fire on Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic in front of his office in the northern Mitrovica. | Photo: BETA, AP Photo/Bojan Slavkovic

Kosovo widens Oliver Ivanovic murder investigation

The Kosovo prosecution said it is investigating two new suspects in its probe into the January 2018 assassination of Kosovo Serb political party leader Oliver Ivanovic.

Syle Hoxha, the prosecutor working on the Oliver Ivanovic murder case, told BIRN on Tuesday that the probe has been widened to include two further suspects with possible links to organised crime.

“We have expanded the investigation into the case with two more individuals. We are at the initial phase in which they are suspected of organised crime,” Hoxha said.

The two new suspects have not been named.

Ivanovic, the leader of the Freedom, Democracy, Justice party, was gunned down in front of his party’s office in the north Mitrovica on January 16, 2018.

The Kosovo authorities arrested four individuals in relation to the case in November 2018. Two of them are still remanded in custody.

The authorities also named Milan Radoicic, vice-president of the main Belgrade-backed Kosovo Serb political party, Srpska Lista, as a suspect.

Radoicic, a businessman, is widely seen as the real power-holder in Serb-majority northern Kosovo.

He avoided arrest on November 23 and moved to Serbia, where the authorities have asserted that he is innocent. He denies involvement in the murder of Ivanovic.

Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said in January that Serbia’s own investigation into the case was examining the movements of “certain individuals” who had appeared in Kosovo, then left for an unspecified Western European country.

Once seen as a hardline nationalist, Ivanovic had evolved into a political moderate who advocated coexistence between Kosovo’s Serb minority and Albanian majority.

He had also become increasingly vocal in his criticism of the Belgrade government.

At the time of his death, he was being retried for ordering the murder of Kosovo Albanians during the war in Kosovo in 1999. He pleaded not guilty.

16/04/2019 - 16:06

16 April 2019 - 16:06

Prishtina Insight is a digital and print magazine published by BIRN Kosovo, an independent, non-governmental organisation. To find out more about the organization please visit the official website. Copyright © 2016 BIRN Kosovo.