Goran ‘Guri’ Radosavljevic Guri (left) receiving a Serbian Gendarmerie award in June 2021. Photo: MUP.

Serbian Police Ex-Commander Wanted in Kosovo for War Crimes

Kosovo’s special prosecutor said that former Serbian police special forces commander Goran ‘Guri’ Radosavljevic is wanted for alleged involvement in the 1999 Reçak/Racak massacre, in which 44 ethnic Albanians were killed.

Special prosecutor Ilir Morina told BIRN Kosovo’s ‘Kallxo Pernime’ TV programme on Wednesday evening that the former commander of Serbian police special forces, Goran ‘Guri’ Radosavljevic, is one of the suspects wanted for the Recak/Racak massacre on January 15, 1999.

“As far as the Kosovo state prosecution knows, he is in Serbia,” Morina said.

During the Kosovo war, Radosavljevic led several police special forces operations including the one in Recak/Racak, in which 44 people were killed, and an attack on Kosovo Liberation Army commander Adam Jashari’s family compound in 1998 that led to the deaths of more than 100 people.

Radosavljevic insisted that these were anti-terrorist operations against KLA guerrillas and denied committing war crimes.

On the 24th anniversary of the Reçak/Racak massacre on January 15 this year, Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti announced that Pristina has asked Interpol via the UN to issue ‘red notices’ calling on states worldwide to arrest 18 Serb suspects in connection with the massacre.

Serbian media reported that Radosavljevic said he knows the names of 15 of the 18 people who Kosovo is seeking for arrest.

“Only four of them were police officers. They did not participate in the operation in Racak. All the others were civilians,” he claimed in quotes given to Radio-Television Serbia and republished by the Kosovo Online website.

“This is not an indictment against people who have committed a criminal act. It is an indictment to make people to move out of Kosovo; pressure on Serbs to leave,” he added.

Special prosecutor Morina said that so far 63 witnesses have been interviewed over the Reçak/Racak massacre and the Kosovo prosecution has also requested cooperation from the Hague Tribunal, pointing out that Kosovo not being a UN member state makes it more difficult to access evidence.

“The filing of the indictment is a legal challenge as we are still in the process of gathering evidence,” he said.

In December 2018, the US State Department designated Radosavljevic ineligible to enter the country due to what it alleged was “his involvement in gross violations of human rights”.

The State Department claimed he was implicated in the deaths of three US citizens of Albanian origin – Ylli, Agron and Mehmet Bytyqi – whose bodies were found in a mass grave at a police training centre in Petrovo Selo in eastern Serbia in 1999.

Many witnesses claimed that at the time that Radosavljevic was in charge when the brothers were killed. He has denied involvement and insisted he was on vacation at the time. He was briefly investigated over the crime by the Serbian prosecution, but never indicted.

Despite the accusations against him, Radosavljevic was awarded an official police honour in June 2021 by the then commander of Serbia’s police special forces, Dejan Lukovic.

19/01/2023 - 14:00

19 January 2023 - 14:00

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