Demands for release of arrested Serb in N. Kosovo

ZUBIN POTOK -- Businesspeople from the northern Kosovo town of Zubin Potok said they would block all major roads if Jevra Pantelić is not released by 14:00 CET Wednesday.

Pantelić was arrested Tuesday by the EULEX police under suspicion of involvement in organized crime.

President of the Zubin Potok business association Ratomir Božović told Tanjug that unless the detained Serb, who is charged with tax evasion, is set free today, they will block the Kosovska Mitrovica-Zubin Potok-Ribariće and Kosovska Mitrovica-Raška roads.

According to him, the road block will prevent EULEX officers from reaching administrative border crossings in northern Kosovo.

Tuesday night, the Kosovska Mitrovica-Zubin Potok road was blocked for two hours in protest.

At the peaceful protest, residents of Zubin Potok demanded that the EULEX police release Pantelić.

Traffic went back to normal around 21:00 CET and during the block vehicles were rerouted to other roads, the Kosovo police confirmed to Tanjug.

"The person was arrested in the course of an investigation into organized crime, money laundering, fuel smuggling, tax evasion and fraud related to the evasion of import customs duties and excise taxes," said EULEX Spokeswoman Irina Gudeljević.