Former US State Department official Jennifer Brush told the Voice of America on Thursday that people with information about the murders of the Bytyqi brothers were too scared to testify against senior Serbian police officer Goran Radosavljevic aka Guri.
Brush served as Charges D’Affaires at the US embassy in Belgrade, working closely with FBI investigators to find witnesses who she said might no longer be in Serbia. “We had an FBI representative at American embassy and he worked with people working on war crimes, the Serbian Internal Affairs Ministry and US investigators because the three Bytyqi brothers were US citizens. We knew back then that Goran Radosavljevic Guri was in charge of the camp where they were killed. We believe that he ordered the killings. I hear later that Guri set up a security company and worked for the Democratic Party (DS) when it was in power,” Brush said.
She said Washington was disappointed to learn that Radosavljevic was a member of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party (SNS). “Every diplomatic meeting with Serbian officials in the past 20 years included talks on the issue,”Brush said.
The VOA recalled that the Bytyqi case has been burdening US-Serbia relations for more than a decade. Agron, Mehmet and Yilli Bitići were members of the so-called Atlantic Brigade in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and were arrested after the 1999 war while helping neighbors flee Prizren. They were charged with illegally crossing the borders of FR Yugoslavia and were sentenced to 15 days in jail but were taken out of their cell four days later, taken to Petrovo Selo and killed. Their bodies were found almost two years later in a mass grave in Petrovo Selo on the grounds of a police Special Anti-Terrorist Unit base commanded by Radosavljevic.
The Serbian authorities have promised to solve the case on several occassions.