Pristina extends detention for Serbs suspected of Ivanovic’s murder

Pristina extends detention for Serbs suspected of Ivanovic’s murder

Pristina extends detention for Serbs suspected of Ivanovic’s murder Izvor: REUTERS/Djordje Kojadinovic

A Kosovo court lengthened on Thursday the pretrial detention for three local Serbs arrested during an investigation into the assassination of a Serb political leader Oliver Ivanovic almost a year ago until January 23, the Beta news agency reported.

The agency carried a report by Koha.net website saying the three were suspected of “an aggravated murder and the revealing of official secrets.”

Last November, the court ordered month-long detention, suspecting them of involvement in the assassination.

Ivanovic was gunned down outside his Civil Initiative SDP party headquarters on January 16, 2018.

Months before he was murdered, Ivanovic told a TV channel he would not be surprised if someone tried to kill him, adding he hoped that would not happen.

Media in Serbia and his political opponents from the Serb List, a local party supported by Belgrade, demonised Ivanovic during the 2017 campaign for local elections in the northern part of the divided town of Mitrovica mostly populated by local Serbs.

After the assassination, Belgrade's authorities changed the tune and the top officials attended his funeral in the capital.

Since then, Pristina and Belgrade have been exchanging bitter accusations about who has ordered and executed the killing.

Back in May, Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said Kosovo's Deputy Prime Minister Enver Hoxhaj directly accused Belgrade of murdering Ivanovic because he said the answer to the assassination “is hiding in Belgrade.”

Dacic said Ivanovic was killed soon after he was released from prison where “the Albanians put him for an alleged war crime.”

Serbia’s Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said there was no any exchange of information between Pristina and Belgrade services and asked the Eulex, European Union legal body in Kosovo, to help in the process.

Hoxhaj accused Serbia’s institutions of refusing to cooperate in the probe, adding they were doing it deliberately to cover up the truth and to obstruct the justice.

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