Arrest Warrants Issued for Kosovo Serb Politicians

The EU rule-of-law mission, EULEX, issued the arrest warrants on Monday after Stevan Vulovic, the mayor of the Zubin Potok municipality, and Slavisa Ristic, a former mayor of Zubin Potok, failed to turn up for interviews with a prosecutor.

“We can inform that following the summons sent to both individuals for an interview with the prosecutor, and due to their failure to present themselves, the prosecutor has requested the pre-trial judge to issue the arrest orders in order for them to be interviewed,” EULEX spokesperson Miguel Carvalho de Faria told BIRN.

Vulovic is suspected of organising the escape of prisoners and Ristic of endangering UN and associated personnel and of aggravated murder, a EULEX official told Kosovo Serb radio station Kontakt Plus.

The EULEX spokesperson said however that “it is important to note that these arrest orders are normal practice when a suspect is requested to attend an interview and fails to do so”.

The move could worsen the already strained relations between Kosovo Serb leaders and the EU mission.

Vulovic said in April that EULEX was a long-term threat to the security of the Serb-dominated north of Kosovo. The EU mission called on him to apologise, saying that Kosovo was under the “yoke of organised crime”.

The recent beginning of the war crimes trial of Oliver Ivanovic, a former Serbian government official and head of the Kosovo Serb political party Freedom, Democracy, Justice, also prompted strong reactions.

Graffiti saying “EULEX go home” and “EULEX is the enemy of the Serb population” appeared on walls in the Serb north of the divided town of Mitrovica as the trial opened last month.  

Ivanovic pleaded not guilty to committing war crimes during the...

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