Belgrade connections of former Serbian police officers in Kosovo
Former high-ranking Kosovo police officers Nenad Djuric and Aleksandar Filipovic met the “demands” of Serbian List vice-president Milan Radoicic, for which they were then “rewarded”, according to information from the security institution in Kosovo obtained by Radio Free Europe (RFE/RL).
Radoicic is blacklisted by the US on suspicion of involvement in international crime.
On 9 December, the UK also imposed sanctions on Radoicic as part of global anti-corruption measures.
Srpska Lista soon condemned this information as a “slander”, adding that “it is proven that he (Radoicic) is a patriot and a leader of the resistance against the occupation of the north of Kosovo”.
Two former police officers, Djuric and Filipovic, the information added, were some kind of “spies” for Serbia.
Nenad Djuric, former Kosovo Police Director for the Northern Region, was suspended for refusing to implement a Kosovo government decision to re-register vehicles. Afterwards, members of the Serbian community in the North left all Kosovo institutions, and the first to take off his uniform was the former Head of the Northern Region Operations, Aleksandar Filipovic, with the words “Enough is enough”.
The decision to withdraw from Kosovo institutions was taken in cooperation with the Serbian List, which is close to the current Serbian authorities and President Aleksandar Vucic. The Serbian president awarded Đurić the “Order of Merit for Defense and Security of the First Degree” and the “Gold Medal for Courage – Miloš Obilić” to Filipović.
Kosovo’s Interior Minister Xhelal Svecla has publicly stated on several occasions that half of the police in the north “work” for Serbia.
The Kosovo Police in the North is mainly made up of former Serbian MUP members who were integrated on the basis of the 2013 Brussels Agreement.
Information obtained by the RFE shows that Djuric is a former operative whose task was to pass on reports from the Kosovo police to the Serbian MUP.
Nenad Djuric has been working for the Kosovo Police since 2011, when he initiated the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia on normalisation of relations as commander of the Zvecan police station, and in 2013 he was appointed regional police commander for the northern region on the basis of the first Brussels Agreement.
In the meantime, he became Kosovo Police Director for the Northern Region. These promotions took place despite the fact that he has repeatedly opposed the implementation of decisions taken by the Kosovo MUP.
Links with Radoičić
Nenad Đurić has publicly supported Milan Radoićić at various organised activities, but until now it was not known that he received a gift, cottage on Lake Gazivode, from the vice-president of the Serbian List, according to information from the Kosovo Security Institution, to which RFE had access.
This lake, near Zubin Potok, is located on the territory of Kosovo and Serbia, while Đurić’s cottage is on the Serbian side.
When consulting the property map submitted to the Kosovo Anti-Corruption Agency, to which all officials are obliged to report ownership details, Đurić did not indicate that he owned property in either Kosovo or Serbia. He only stated that he had taken out a loan of 30,000 euros for ten years, starting in 2021, to “meet his family’s needs”.
Radoicic is wanted in Kosovo for intimidation of witnesses in the Brezovica case, which relates to black construction and is linked to the still unsolved murder of Serbian opposition politician Oliver Ivanovic in January 2018. Incidentally, Radoicic became vice-president of the Serbian List a few months after Ivanovic’s murder.
While a warrant was issued for him, he sent a message from the north of Kosovo at the beginning of July with the message “I’m back, and you know what that means”. He was also present at the barricades that were erected on July 31.
He has also managed to escape from Kosovo police on several occasions before possible arrest.
Incidentally, according to information accessed by the RFE, Đurić received direct instructions from Belgrade to assist and facilitate smuggling from Serbia to Kosovo.
Although he was a high-ranking Kosovo police official, the information system has criminal cases against him for threats, obstruction of justice, suspected smuggling, receiving bribes, abuse of office.
Radio Free Europe tried to contact Đurić for comment on the information it had obtained about him, but without success.
Aleksandar Filipovic, the former Head of Operations for the Northern Region, is a former member of the Serbian Ministry of the Interior who became part of the Kosovo Police after the Brussels Agreement.
Information received by the RFE indicates that Filipovic maintained contacts with the Serbian Ministry of the Interior through Slaviša Arsenijević, a senior Serbian Ministry of the Interior official for Kosovo. There is also evidence of their meetings, i.e. photographs showing both of them.
The RFE contacted the Serbian Ministry of the Interior about this information, but no reply had been received by the time of publication.
Filipovic became commander of the Leposavic police station in 2016 at the request of Milan Radoicic, RFE data show. In addition to Radoicic, he was also closely associated with Milan Mihajlovic, who was arrested in October 2022 on suspicion of involvement in the murder of Serbian politician Oliver Ivanovic.
He also maintained close contacts with Russian representatives in Kosovo, such as Aleksandar Rozhdestvenski of the Russian Liaison Office in Kosovo.
Filipovic is also known as “Vulin’s man”, thanks to his close contacts with Mile Radivojevic, who was an advisor to Aleksandar Vulin when he was Serbia’s Minister of the Interior. Vulin is now the head of the Security Information Agency – BIA.
This former Kosovo police officer is also a member of the International Police Association – Serbia Section.
Information also shows that he was involved in the recruitment of members of the Civil Protection Force, which was formally disbanded under the Brussels Agreement.
According to the Kosovo Centre for Security Studies, the Civilian Protection Corps in northern Kosovo was composed of persons with military experience or training in military methods.
The RFE attempted to obtain a comment from Filipović on the information obtained by telephone, but without success.
Former police officers and crime
Since 6. December, incidents involving the use of firearms and explosive devices have increased in northern Kosovo and the police have increased their capacity in the area to maintain law and order.
However, on the evening of 8 December, masked persons attempted to prevent the arrival of additional Kosovo Police units, resulting in one police officer being lightly injured in an armed confrontation.
Armed persons with phantom face masks are not new in northern Kosovo. On 31 July, when barricades were erected against the Kosovo authorities, RFE teams documented the presence of masked persons.
At a press conference on 7 December, Kosovo’s Minister of the Interior, Xhelal Svecla, blamed the attacks on former Serbian police officers who had abandoned their posts.
He stated that this was according to information gathered by the police or intelligence services from the field.
On 8 December, the RFE asked Kosovo Minister Svecla whether Đurić and Filipović were involved in the latest attacks in the north, to which he replied that “the moment Kosovo has evidence that either of them was involved in the attacks, the police will take action”.
The Kosovo police chief added that the situation in the north could be threatened or worsened “by the criminal and sometimes terrorist actions of certain groups led and supported by Belgrade”./RSE/