The lawyer for former Kosovo Serb police officer Dejan Pantic said he still does not know the location of his client eleven days after his arrest.
Pantic is suspected of carrying out an alleged attack on municipal election commission offices in North Mitrovica. His arrest earlier this month sparked road blockades by Kosovo Serbs.
Pantic’s lawyer Nebojsa Vlajic said he has “some unofficial news and assumptions about Pantic’s whereabouts.”
“Everyone believes that he is at the base of the Kosovo Police [near the Jarinje border crossing]. But whether it is really there or not, I don’t have any official confirmation,” he said.
Vlajic said he had brought the issue to the EULEX mission, including questions about Pantic’s whereabouts and the conditions under which he is being kept. He said that part of EULEX’s mandate is to supervise Kosovo’s judiciary environment.
“More than two days ago, I asked for an answer to those questions, they still haven’t answered,” said Vlajic. He said he expects to receive answers soon.
“To get medicine, to enable him to make phone calls and visit family members and defence attorneys. These are elementary human rights, which do not depend, or should not depend, on the government,” he said.
According to Kosovo’s Minister of Interior, Xhelal Svecla, Pantic was arrested for “organizing a terrorist attack on the premises of the Municipal Election Commission” in northern Kosovo.
A Kosovo court issued a 30-day detention order against the former Kosovo Serb police officer.
Along with a number of Serbian colleagues, Pantic quit the Kosovo police on November 5 as part of a national walkout over a heightening license plate row between Serbia and Kosovo.
On 15 December, the head of the EULEX mission in Kosovo, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, said the organization does not know the exact location of Pantic, and that it had received contradictory information about his whereabouts.
One day later, EULEX confirmed it had received a request by Kosovo authorities “to facilitate” the transfer of Pantic to a detention facility.
EULEX said they were monitoring Pantic’s case as part of its mandate, and that it was in contact with the Ombudsperson and Pantic’s lawyer.
“Through [Pantic’s lawyer], the Mission was made aware of the request of the family to visit D.P. However, the Mission is not in the position to facilitate a visit by the family,” EULEX told reporters.
A number of NGOs have issued a press release expressing their concern that Pantic’s family members and lawyer have been prevented from visiting him or contacting him by phone.
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