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War Crimes Arrests of Three Kosovo Serbs Anger Belgrade

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Wednesday demanded international intervention to free three Serbs who were arrested in Kosovo on suspicion of committing war crimes.

“We invite all international representatives to react, to do everything in their power so that Serbs can survive on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, so that people who are not guilty of doing anything to anyone are released to their homes,” Vucic told media on Wednesday night during a visit to the United States.

He vowed to raise the issue of Kosovo, where arrests of Serbs on various charges in recent months have angered Belgrade, at the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday.

Kosovo’s special prosecution announced on Wednesday that police arrested “three persons of Serbian nationality today for the criminal offence of ‘war crimes against the civilian population’”.

The special prosecution added that the three men were remanded in custody for 48 hours.

BIRN contacted the prosecution for further details about the charges, but did not receive any response by the time of publication.

The head of the Serbian government’s office for Kosovo, Petar Petkovic, said after the arrests on Wednesday said that one of those held is an elderly man, a cancer patient who was arrested in the northern city of Mitrovica.

Petkovic said the second man arrested is a former policeman and displaced person, and was arrested in the northern Kosovo municipality Zvecan. He claimed that the police “first blocked off the whole of Zvecan” before the arrest.

The third man arrested is 73 years old and comes from Vucitrn/Vushtrri in southern Kosovo. Petkovic claimed that “he was literally kidnapped” with the assistance of workers from the Kosovo Energy Corporation, to whom he opened the door.

“Today’s arrests, brutal arrests… by the Kosovo police are carried out exclusively on the orders of [Kosovo Prime Minister] Albin Kurti, who wants to expel the Serbian people from Kosovo and Metohija,” Petkovic said.

Source : BalkanInsight