U.S. expert for the Balkans Daniel Serwer has said he expects Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic not to obstruct further progress of the ongoing investigation in Kosovo into the murder of Oliver Ivanovic.
“How will Serbia react to the information on the charges pressed in the Oliver Ivanovic murder case in Kosovo is a question for President Aleksandar Vucic. The reaction does not depend on Marko Djuric (the Serbian government’s Office for Kosovo and Metohija chief),” Serwer, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, has told Voice of America.
Commenting on a statement by the Special Prosecutor’s Office that it had pressed charges against six persons and was looking for another three persons at large, Djuric said that it was a politically fabricated process.
Serwer sees the moment as a possibility for establishing cooperation between the two sides.
“I am expecting complaints by Aleksandar Vucic, but I hope that he will not obstruct the progress of the process and will cooperate on locating the three persons at large who are wanted by the police and that he will realize that there is no other way to resolve this case. It is under Kosovo’s jurisdiction to implement laws in its territory and the same applies for Serbia on its territory,” Serwer specified.
He further said that the “things could go both ways,” and that “it depends on the political will of Belgrade, and to some extent of Pristina.”
“But I think that a decision on whether this could be used to make a step forward in the right direction should be sought in Belgrade. If solid evidence existed against the six arrested persons, then they should be tried in Kosovo – Belgrade agreed to this under a political agreement from 2013. It is not a topic open to discussion – it is a promise Belgrade needs to fulfill,” Serwer stressed.
Serwer further said he assumed that the two sides had cooperated in the investigation into Oliver Ivanovic murder, as it would be difficult to imagine that arrests of the suspects would have not met considerable resistance in Kosovo’s north.
Asked whether any progress in cooperation could be expected, considering that according to earlier claims by Kosovo officials, one of the main suspects in the case was Milan Radoicic, a highly ranked official of the Serb political party the Serb List, Serwer replied that “there should be cooperation and it already exists,” adding that it remained to be seen “how far it could go in the Radoicic case.”
According to him, pressing charges could have a positive impact on the Belgrade –Pristina dialogue, if it resumed. Serwer added he hoped that the two sides would cooperate toward convicting the assassins of Oliver Ivanovic, noting that the time had come to administer justice.