Appeal against detention of Ivanović rejected

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- The Court of Appeals in Priština has rejected an appeal filed against a decision to keep Oliver Ivanović in prison, his party, GI SDP, announced on Thursday.

(Beta, file)
(Beta, file)

The court rejected the appeal three weeks after it was submitted, although there was a deadline of 48 hours, a statement noted, and added:

"This shows that Kosovo courts are not interested in the rights of the accused, or in what the appeal said, because they already have their decision."

In addition, said the party, Ivanović's lawyers on May 15 filed a motion to protect lawfulness against the ruling to keep him detained, but the Supreme Court of Kosovo is yet to make a decision on this.

"This shows what kind of process is being conducted against Oliver Ivanović, and confirms the existence of double standards," GI SDP asserted, referring to ethnic Albanian defendants from the so-called Drenica Group who have been allowed to "spend time in hospitals across Kosovo and Metohija instead of in detention, although they are not sick," and also "leave those hospitals and go where they wish, doing what they wish, even escape and then blackmail the court, and have their demands met."

The party expressed its dissatisfaction with the manner in which criminal proceedings against its leader are being conducted, adding that "acts that took place 15 years ago are being investigated now, and in the meanwhile Ivanović is being kept in prison for six months, with no evidence."

The politician was arrested in late January on suspicion that he took part in crimes committed in Kosovo in 1999 and 2000, including aggravated murder.

Ivanović is among the Serbs imprisoned in Kosovo for whom the Serbian government offered guarantees in case they were set free pending the outcome of their trials.