Memorial service held for terror victims from Kosovo

A memorial service was organized to honor the Serb and Roma victims who were 14 years ago kidnapped and executed by ethnic Albanian terrorists and separatists.

Source: Tanjug

They died in July 1998, in the villages in the Orahovac municipality in Kosovo.

The service was held in the Church of St. Procopius in Belgrade on Wednesday by priests Zoran and Aleksandar Grujić. Members of the victims' families and both associations that foster the memory of the kidnapped, killed and missing from Kosovo attended the event.

They later visited individual graves near the church, lit candles and laid wreaths to honor the innocent victims.

According to Tanjug news agency, Humanitarian Law Center and Women in Black NGOs also attended the commemoration and laid wreaths.

The attacks by the ethnic Albanian paramilitary organization dubbed "the Kosovo liberation Army (KLA) on Orahovac and the surrounding villages of Retimlje, Opteruša, Zočište and Velika Hoča took place between July 11 and 28, 1998, and resulted in 47 people kidnapped and killed. Three of the victims were Roma, while the rest were Serbs.

Seven people were killed on the spot, while more than 100 Serbs and Roma, mostly civilians, were illegally imprisoned in KLA prison camps.

The remains of 40 victims were found in 2005 - 28 located in the Volujak cave and the remaining 12 in a mass grave Mališevo, near Orahovac.

A total of 36 victims have been identified.

The Orahovac 1998 case was investigated by the Prosecutor's Office of the Hague Tribunal, but neither they nor the international court ran by the UN mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, which took over the case later, raised any indictments.

The EU mission in Kosovo, EULEX, started its own investigation in September 2010 and arrested two of the kidnappers, ethnic Albanians from Opteruša, in the spring of 2011. The trial is still open.

However, the two stand accused only of driving Serbs out of Retimlje and Opteruša. There have been no indictments so far for the imprisonment of innocent people, their abuse and murder.

The Serbian War Crimes Court started a case against ethnic Albanian Sinan Morina, but he was released because of a lack of evidence.

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