Author Topic: Murder of Serb teens in Kosovo still unpunished  (Read 1781 times)

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Offline Super Mentalita

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Murder of Serb teens in Kosovo still unpunished
« on: August 14, 2014, 05:20:01 AM »

BELGRADE -- Serbia on Wednesday marks the 11th anniversary of a terrorist attack in Kosovo when two Serb teenagers were murdered and four more wounded.

The incident happened on the bank of the Bistrica River in the Serb enclave of Goraždevac near the town of Peć.

A group of teenagers and young adults was attacked from an ambush, and the killers, who used automatic weapons to fire a total of 90 bullets, remain unknown to this day.

Ivan Jovović, aged 19, and Pantelija Dakić, 13, were killed in the attack, while Marko Bogićević, 12, Dragana Srbljak, 13, Bogdan Bukumirić, 15, and Đorđe Ugrenović, 20, were seriously wounded.

In its report on the anniversary of the crime, Tanjug noted that the shots were fired from the direction of the ethnic Albanian village of Zahač and that after the incident, the UN mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, said that "a number of unidentified individuals hiding in the bushes opened fire from Kalashnikov rifles at around fifty boys and girls spending their summer holidays in the area. At the moment of the attack, the children were bathing in the river."

The crime in Goraždevac was condemned by heads of UNMIK and KFOR and officials of the EU, U.S., France, Russia, Kosovo and former State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, which called for a meeting of the UN Security Council.

Representatives of the international community promised that they would "turn every stone and find the individuals who committed this crime". 11 years later, "nobody has yet been held accountable for the murders and wounding of children," Tanjug said.

The Kosovo police announced that they interrogated 75 witnesses and searched around 100 houses during the investigation but to no result.

Late in 2010, EULEX investigators interrupted the investigation and it was only on February 9, 2011 that prosecutor Alenka Sagmeister Ranzinger from Slovenia informed the victims' relatives about the termination of proceedings, since no suspect was identified in the investigation.

The families received the notification at the insistence of Bogdan Bukumirić, who was shot eight times during the attack, and had been persistently demanding information on the results of the investigation from heads of the peacekeeping mission in Kosovo since 2007.

Early in 2011, EULEX spokesperson Irina Gudeljevic said that EULEX took over the Goraždevac case from UNMIK, together with a pretty messy file, and kept calling on anyone who may have any information or evidence related to the crime to come forth and report to EULEX.

EULEX police investigators and prosecutor's office re-examined all available witnesses, and many of them did not wish to testify, Gudeljevic said and added that all the information has been analyzed again but to no result, and EULEX prosecutor decided to close the investigation.

"It is inconceivable that attackers cannot be found who had shot at children in broad daylight just because of their Serb ethnicity," Bukumirić told Tanjug at the time. Like most Serbs in Goraždevac, he believes that ethnic Albanians have "a pact of silence and solidarity and that the individuals responsible for the attack will never be arrested without pressure from international institutions."

EULEX Spokesperson Dragana Nikolic Solomon told Tanjug on Wednesday that the proceedings concerning the case can be resumed and the investigation can be re-opened at any point if new facts and evidence about the crime are brought to light.

Serbian government's media office head Milivoje Mihajlović said today that "the main culprit" for the crime is the "cumbersome and corrupt international administration" managing Kosovo and Metohija.

According to him, almost all crimes that have caused the ethnic cleansing of Serbs in Kosovo have not been punished yet.

The incident in Goraždevac is considered to be one of the gravest crimes committed against Serbs after the 1999 war in the province and the arrival of international peacekeepers.

The attackers are still at large, as well as the individuals responsible for the murder of 14 harvesters in the village of Staro Gracko, as are those who murdered the three-member Serb family Stolić in their home in Obilić, and those involved in a terrorist attack when 12 passengers were killed and 43 wounded when a bomb was detonated under a Niš Express bus traveling near the town of Podujevo.
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