Witnesses at the trial for the 2018 killing of Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic were reluctant to confirm previous testimonies they gave to the prosecution, namely their identification of alleged members of organized criminal groups operating in majority-Serb north Kosovo.
In her testimony given to the prosecution in December 2018, the first witness Radmila Rajcic said that “Ivanovic was murdered by the same criminal group” as her son. This criminal group, she said, was led by Milan Radojicic.
On Tuesday, the witness refused to repeat the allegation in court.
“I am not sure, I do not deny my testimony but that was only my opinion,” she said when asked about her previous testimony. Clarifying further, she said it was based on rumors, and not something she knew to be true for sure.
Milan Radojicic is an influential Kosovo Serb businessman, and vice-president of the Kosovo Serb party Srpska Lista. The Ivanovic case has drawn accusations that Radojicic is the leader of the organized criminal group that planned and carried out Ivanovic’s murder in January 2018, in tandem with Kosovo Serb businessman Zvonko Veselinovic.
Both Radojicic and Veselinovic have denied any involvement with the murder, and formal charges have yet to be laid against either man.
All the witnesses in the trial have so far proved reluctant to back up their previous testimonies about Radojicic’s alleged involvement with the organized criminal group.
Marko Rosic, Silvana Arsovic, Rade Basara and Nedeljko Spasojevic are four of the defendants in the trial, and are all accused of being members of the group that carried out the murder of Ivanovic. Dragisa Markovic and Zarko Jovanovic, two police officers, are also on trial. They are accused of tampering with evidence in the case.
All of the defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Referring to the accused, one of the witnesses, Rajic, told the court that “I do not know any of the policemen here.”
During her initial testimony, Rajic said she had tried to initiate criminal charges against several policemen she believed to have neglected their duties in solving her son’s murder case. These policemen included Rade Basara, one of the accused in the Ivanovic trial.
Another of the witnesses, Dragan Jablanovic, was previously the mayor of the Serb-majority Leposavic municipality until a month before Ivanovic’s murder. He was also reluctant to repeat his testimony given when first questioned by prosecutors in 2019.
In his 2019, Jablanovic mentioned an incident in which he was prevented from entering his office by people who told him “Milan Radojicic paid us 1,000 euros each to not let you enter your office.”
At the time of his death, Ivanovic was being retried for ordering the murder of Kosovo Albanians during the war in 1999. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
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