UNMIK Chief Criticises Kosovo Over Staffers’ Arrests

UNMIK head Zahir Tanin told a UN Security Council meeting on Monday that Kosovo police had violated the rights of two of its staff, arrested on May 28 in an operation against organized crime in the Serb-run north of Kosovo.

"Both of our staff members were apparently subjected to excessive use of force and mistreated after being arrested by the Kosovo police, resulting in injuries requiring hospital treatment," Tanin told the meeting at which the latest UNMIK report on Kosovo was discussed.

Tanin said that Kosovo police had violated the rights and immunity of the UN staffers by arresting them. "UN nationals' property was improperly seized and searched," Tanin added.

He also said the Kosovo authorities didn't inform the UN about the arrests of its staff members in a timely manner, and added that Kosovo had no right to declare a UN staffer persona non grata.

Police arrested the Russian team leader of a UNMIK office in northern, Mikhail Krasnoshchenkov, and the Serbian head of UNMIK Program assistance at the same office, Dejan Dimic, on May 28 during a Kosovo police operation.

Kosovo police claimed Krasnoshchenkov had tried to impede the operation, using his vehicle to form a barricade preventing police from entering a village.

Alongside the two UN members, 19 police officers were arrested during the raid on suspicion of organised crime and handling contraband goods.

Krasnoshchenkov was injured during the arrest and has been sent to hospital in Serbia for treatment. He is still there. Dimic was released from a local hospital on June 3.

Meanwhile, Kosovo authorities asked UNMIK to remove Krasnoshchenkov's immunity and declared him unwelcome - persona non grata.

Tanin on Monday said that the UN had undertaken an...

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