Kosovo’s Special Prosecution has charged six people with involvement in the murder of former Kosovo Serb political party leader Oliver Ivanovic, who was shot dead in January 2018 in front of his office.
Kosovo’s Special Prosecution announced on Monday that it has charged six people with participating in or organising a criminal group, misuse of office, assisting in a murder, possession of illegal weapons, disclosure of official secrets and misuse of evidence related to the killing of politician Oliver Ivanovic in the north of the divided town of Mitrovica in 2018.
“The indictees actively participated in the group’s criminal activities, knowing that such participation would contribute to criminal activities being conducted, for direct or indirect financial benefits for themselves for or others aiming to extend control over businesses and politics in North Mitrovica,” the Special Prosecution said.
The suspects were only identified by their initials – N.S., M.R., S.A., D.M., Z.J. and R.B.
Three of them are already in custody and a Kosovo court has issued arrest warrants for the three others who are at large.
The Special Prosecution said that on the day that Ivanovic was killed, suspect N.S. helped the direct perpetrators carry out the murder.
“Indictee N.S. cooperated closely with unknown suspects to commit the murder of Oliver Ivanovic and intentionally helped them by creating conditions for and avoiding barriers to the commission of the criminal act,” Prosecution said.
Ivanovic, the leader of the Freedom, Democracy, Justice party, was gunned down in front of his party’s office in Mitrovica on January 16, 2018.
The Kosovo authorities arrested four individuals in relation to the case in November 2018.
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 November 2018 and moved to Serbia, where the authorities have asserted that he is innocent. He denies involvement in the murder of Ivanovic.
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.