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Videos Show Kosovo Serb Politician Being Followed Before Murder

Videos allegedly showing Kosovo Serb opposition politician Oliver Ivanovic being followed before he was killed in 2018 were shown in court during the trial of four people accused of involvement in his murder.

Security camera footage that allegedly shows Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic being followed while going to his party offices in the city of North Mitrovica just before he was shot dead in January 2018 was shown at Pristina Basic Court on Monday.

In the footage, shown on the request of the lawyer for one of the defendants, Marko Rosic, two unidentified individuals and two cars can be seen allegedly following Ivanovic as he left his apartment building and went to his party offices.

Rosic’s lawyer, Mahmut Halimi, said the footage shown in court on Monday shows that his client was not following Ivanovic the day he was assassinated, contrary to the prosecution’s claims.

“With these recordings, it can be concluded that on the critical day, Rosic was not present at the crime scene,” Halimi said.

Before his death, Ivanovic had complained several times that he had received death threats. He was an opponent of the main, Belgrade-backed Kosovo Serb party, Srpska Lista, and had become increasingly vocal in his criticism of the Belgrade government.

The indictment accuses Rosic, Silvana Arsovic, Nedelko Spasojevic and Rade Basara of being members of a joint criminal enterprise that organised the assassination of Ivanovic in Mitrovica in January 2018.

The indictment names Milan Radoicic, former deputy leader of Srpska Lista, alongside controversial businessman Zvonko Veselinovic, as being the leaders of the organised criminal group that killed Ivanovic. However, neither Radoicic nor Veselinovic is on trial.

The prosecution has asked for footage from security cameras at Ivanovic’s party offices to be shown in court. But currently this is technically impossible because the court’s software is incompatible with the security cameras’ format, the court has been told.

Prosecutor Burim Cerkini told the court that on Friday that he has asked the investigators and forensics specialists to change the format of the footage so it can be shown in court.

Two police officers, Dragisa Markovic and Zarko Jovanovic, are also being tried for evidence-tampering in the case. All the defendants have pleaded not guilty.

In mid-October, Milan Mihajlovic, a Serb from the northern Kosovo town of Leposavic, who had been on the run since 2019, was also arrested for alleged involvement in the murder of Ivanovic.

Mihajlovic is one of a dozen Serbs from northern Kosovo, including Veselinovic, who in August 2021 were sanctioned by the United States Treasury Department for alleged links to transnational organised crime.

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

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 had pleaded not guilty.

Source : Balkan Insight