The local elections in Kosovo were an opportunity for the Serbs to free themselves from the pressure of Milan Radojicic and that criminal octopus that implements the policy once implemented by Zeljko Raznjatovic Arkan, says Ivan Ninic, a lawyer from Belgrade, in an interview for The Geopost.
“Admittedly, there is no white goods technology here that personifies Arkan’s politics, but there is white technology in powder, there are some other subversive activities and the acquisition of enormous benefits and profits”.
“We can look at the balance sheets of the companies controlled by Zvonko Veselinovic and Milan Radojicic, who today are the number one tycoons not only in the northern part of Kosovo, but also in Serbia. They are the undisputed masters in various businesses. They are asphalting the roads today, they are keeping the Serbs in the north of Kosovo as one ghetto, and they were given the legitimacy for this by Aleksandar Vucic himself, they are his emissaries in the northern part of Kosovo”.
Ninic is the defense attorney for Dragan Nikolic, a Kosovo Serb who was recently arrested by Serbian authorities at the Jarinje border crossing. Ninic says that Nikolic experienced a shock because he was asked a question by a worker at the administrative crossing, ‘is he a Shiptar’ (derogatory name for the Albanians of Kosovo), which shocked him. “He said no. He was then asked where his Serbian documents were, and he said that they were at home and that he would bring them if necessary. To which the officials told him: ‘you won’t need it, our bosses from Belgrade will bring it to you’. He points out that Nikolic is being charged with serious accusations, among other things, that he is a member of an eight-member organized crime group.
“Out of these eight persons, Dragan knows only one person and that is because he arrested him as a member of the KP (Kosovo Police) at one time for some illegal transport of wood or forest cutting. He doesn’t know anyone of Albanian nationality at all. Therefore, he cannot be a member of an organized criminal group in a situation where he does not know the other members of the group”.
His sin, says Ninic, seems to be that he did not agree to be a Serb under the control of Milan Radojicic after that. “And not only Dragan, but also his family does not support the Serbian list, it is common knowledge in Leposavic and they are branded because of it and they suffer the consequences that have been manifested since September of last year in several ways until this April 11 when was arrested”.
The interlocutor of The Geopost believes that Vucic cannot function at all and does not know how to behave in a real situation.
“If he didn’t have the Kosovo problem, if he wouldn’t be down there ‘lighting the fire’ and ‘putting out the fire’, at the same time we have a man who is an arsonist in the morning and a firefighter in the afternoon who performs these activities both on the ground and on television with a national frequency, I don’t think he would have something to do. Aleksanadar Vucic is a master of shaping all these policies of chaos and extracting the best from them, which are votes – we are talking here about the votes that come from that body of the national electorate”.
The Geopost: The Serbian authorities arrested a Serb from the north of Kosovo the other day and he is being charged with serious charges. What did the case of your client Dragan Nikolic show?
On the night between Monday and Tuesday, April 10 to 11, my client Dragan Nikolic was deprived of his freedom at the Jarinje border crossing after returning from Kragujevac. He tried to enter the territory of the northern part of Kosovo, he specifically went to the territory of Leposavic municipality where he lives with his family.
He did not have Serbian documents with him – an identity card, traffic and driver’s license. He experienced a shock because he was asked a question by the workers at the administrative crossing “if he is Shiptar” (derogatory name for the Albanians of Kosovo), which shocked him. He said he didn’t. He was then asked where his Serbian documents were, and he said that they were at home and that he would bring them if necessary. To which the officials told him: “you won’t need it, our bosses from Belgrade will bring it to you”.
He was left aside for three hours, he was not allowed to leave the administrative crossing where he was in the car with his wife. Somewhere around midnight, and this all happens somewhere from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., two people in civilian clothes with masks on their heads arrive, without introducing themselves, we doubt whether they are BIA officers or SBOK inspectors (Services for the fight against organized crime), they handcuff him on his hands, his wife is told that she can continue on her way, and they escort him to Belgrade.
The entire time he was being transported to Belgrade, those persons did not remove the head mask from his head, unable to see their faces, he once asked them to perform his physiological needs and remove his handcuffs, which they refused to do. He was brought, we assume to the premises of the SBOK in Belgrade, to the service for the fight against terrorism, where he was asked certain questions – whether he works for the Pristina authorities, whether he gives out any confidential information, who his bosses are, who he reports to, and even the question of who are you going to contact first in Kosovo, in Pristina when we let you out of here.
Of course, at that moment and at that stage of the procedure, he was not told at all what he was charged with, but he received a decision on police detention. He was appointed an ex officio defense attorney. This all happened on the morning of April 11, and in the evening he was brought before the senior public prosecutor in Belgrade, where he was questioned by the deputy prosecutor and then the allegations of the criminal complaint were presented to him for the first time. Namely, Dragan Nikolic is accused of being a member of an organized criminal group that consists of eight people, of which six are of Serbian nationality and two are of Albanian nationality, who are claimed to be the organizers of the criminal group.
Out of these eight persons, Dragan knows only one person, and that is because he arrested him as a member of the Kosovo Police at one time for some illegal transport of wood or forest cutting. He doesn’t know anyone of Albanian nationality at all. Therefore, he cannot be a member of an organized criminal group in a situation where he does not know the other members of the group.
Therefore, he is accused of having organized a criminal group with the aim of overthrowing the constitutional order of the Republic of Serbia and calling for a violent change in the constitutional order. These are extremely serious crimes that are punishable by up to ten years in prison because the crime was allegedly committed in a group. He was then presented with the allegations of the criminal complaint, and he is accused of having, in the period from November 2022 until April 11 of this year, as a member of an organized criminal group, worked to destroy the constitutional order of Serbia in the northern part of Kosovo by participating in printing and the distribution of certain propaganda material, by giving information of security interest to the Pristina government structures, all with the aim of blaming Serbs among them and those who were arrested for certain burning of cars in the north of Kosovo, without specifying the date when it happened, without specifying the specific cars and without specifying the persons who were deprived of their liberty on that occasion.
Among other things, Dragan is charged with the fact that his activities as a member of an organized criminal group aimed at spreading ethnic conflicts and exodus from the territory of Kosovo, primarily the northern part. And even that his activities led to the physical attack and wounding of certain persons of Serbian nationality that took place in Kosovo in January of this year, and according to media reports, the perpetrators of those attacks were identified and even imprisoned. And Dragan doesn’t have anything to do with it and there is no evidence that can connect him. Due to the lack of any material evidence, he could not plead guilty.
He stated that he does not know the persons he is being linked to, that he has not done anything against the state of Serbia, that he has been a member of the police force for 20 years, that he resigned from the KP in November last year at the invitation of the Republic of Serbia and the authorities in Belgrade. With that resignation, he wanted to show his loyalty to that country, he wanted to fulfill the wishes of the Serbian list and representatives of the authorities in Belgrade so that they would not tell him that he is Thaci’s Serb, that he is Kurti’s Serb.
His sin seems to be that he did not agree afterwards to be a Serb under the control of Milan Radojicic. And not only Dragan but also his family does not support the Serbian list, it is common knowledge in Leposavic and they are branded because of it and because of it they suffer the consequences which have manifested themselves since September of last year in several ways until this April 11, when arrested.
The Geopost: The Serbian List is boycotting the elections. Was this an opportunity for all Serbs in the north of Kosovo like Dragan to free themselves from the pressure of criminal structures from Serbia led by Milan Radojicic, about whom Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic had only words of praise at a recent meeting in Raska?
The local elections for the local government structures in Kosovo were an opportunity for the Serbs to get rid of the pressure of Milan Radojicic and that criminal octopus that implements the policy that Zeljko Raznjatovic Arkan once implemented in Serbian areas. Admittedly, there are no white goods technology, which personifies Arkan’s politics, but there is white technology in powder, there are some other subversive activities and the acquisition of enormous benefits and profits.
We can look at the balance sheets of the companies controlled by Zvonko Veselinovic and Milan Radojicic, who today are the number one tycoons not only in the northern part of Kosovo, but also in Serbia. They are the undisputed masters in various businesses. Today they asphalt the roads, they keep the Serbs in the north of Kosovo as one ghetto and they were given the legitimacy for that by Aleksandar Vucic himself, they are his emissaries in the northern part of Kosovo. After these events and the arrest of Dragan Nikolic, we no longer have room to ask the question of why Oliver Ivanovic was killed, and why the perpetrators of Oliver Ivanovic’s murder are not known to this day.
We should not even doubt who is behind that murder, but let the competent authorities determine it, it is not up to me as a lawyer to judge it, but a lot of things are symptomatic here. And what is happening to the family of Dragan Nikolcic and to him will happen to every Serb in the northern part of Kosovo who resists Milan Radoicic and who thinks to raise his voice, who in the environment in which he lives and works tells his friends, neighbors and fellow citizens that he does not support Radojicic , Serbian List, that maybe he has another option, that he inherits some other ideas and simply does not accept the terror carried out by Milan Radoicic.
There is a synergy here between the institutions in Belgrade, the security services in Belgrade and Radojicic on the ground. This synergy results in parallel structures that continue to function in the northern part of Kosovo, they rely on the budget from Belgrade, primarily the Office for Kosovo, and anyone who shows loyalty to Milan Radojicic and the Serbian list can grab something from that cash.
Whoever refuses obedience will be punished. And I think that the point of the whole story is to drive fear into the bones of the people who live down there, to make it clear to every family that they will be existentially threatened if they resist the Serbian list and Milan Radojicic.
On Sunday, there was an opportunity for the Serbs to constitute their institutions in four municipalities, primarily in the northern part of Kosovo. The Serbs missed that opportunity because they have this strong pressure from the authorities from Belgrade, the authorities did not encourage them to participate in those elections, moreover, those who dared to participate as independent candidates or independent lists outside of the Serbian list suffered different consequences, some subversive methods were applied to them, institutions from Belgrade were abused, primarily the Prosecutor’s Office, the police, the security services.
Here we saw the example of Dragan Nikolic. It is enough to arrest Dragan Nikolic so the people in Leposavic who know him understand that the devil has played a joke, and it is enough to show, demonstrate that force in one or two, three, cases. It is easy for me from Belgrade to talk about how it is, but I believe now that I am in contact with Dragan’s friends and family. They are truly terrified and ask what’s next, what can happen to us after this, because they think this is not the worst that can happen.
The Geopost: Kosovo is indefensible because it is an internationally recognized state and that is a fact. After everything that has been said, I ask you what the authorities in Belgrade are defending in Kosovo? Is this how the Serbs in Kosovo defend themselves?
-We have had a multi-decade strange behavior of the authorities in Serbia, we have had a completely chaotic policy towards the Serbs from Kosovo and towards Kosovo, which is formally part of Serbia, for the last decade, as prescribed by the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia. However, everything that the government in Belgrade is doing points to the strengthening of Pristina institutions.
All the steps taken by the government led to the fact that it is a matter of time when Kosovo will function as a subject of international law, and this is not my position, it is a fact that is realistic thanks to the government of Aleksandar Vucic.
So it is enough to look at what experts in international public law claim. Here, look at Professor Dejan Mirovic, who is a professor at the Faculty of Law in Mitrovica, wrote a book about the Brussels agreements. The book is called “Brussels agreements – chronology and consequences” where he practically explained how the Serbian side handed over all the institutions to the Pristina authorities for the last ten years. The problem here is to admit reality.
While you are doing one thing under the grain, behind the curtain, you are misleading the public, the electorate, public opinion, telling them some fairy tales. We saw how it was with the Brussels Agreement, we saw how it was with the Washington Agreement, we saw with the agreement in Ohrid. So, the point here is not to sign anything without essentially consolidating Pristina’s institutions. It is a question of when Kosovo will get its international legal subjectivity. What has been done in the past ten years speaks in favor of this. What is sad and tragic here is the fact that Serbs in Kosovo are abused, that they serve as a reservoir of votes.
As a member of the Republican Election Commission, I saw the treatment of those votes that are transported and counted there in Raška with the help of the OSCE. It is a very solid reservoir of votes for the Serbian Progressive Party on the one hand, and on the other hand, a huge amount of money from Serbia’s budget goes to Kosovo. It is now a multi-decade outflow and an annual outflow.
Aleksandar Vucic’s most trusted people manage that money and channel it, it is spent in a completely non-transparent way, that is, I would say, a place neither in heaven nor on earth, and that suits someone in Belgrade. Well, to whom it suits, it suits to every government, in this case, in the last decade, that government is personified by the SNS. I’m sorry to have to say it like that, but it’s just a fact.
The third aspect is the aspect of that professional serbianism, that business nationalism. I think that Vucic cannot function at all and does not know how to behave in a real situation. If he didn’t have the Kosovo problem, if he didn’t “light the fire” and “put out the fire” down there, at the same time we have a man who is an arsonist in the morning and a firefighter in the afternoon who performs these activities both on the ground and on television with a national frequency, I don’t think he would had something to do.
We would be a peaceful Balkan area with a lot of prosperity, oriented towards the economy, towards bringing people together, building a better, more humane society, maybe we would focus on information technologies, on sustainable development. But no, we have been dealing here for 30 years with a topic that has obviously become a business topic and as such suits every political elite. Aleksanadar Vucic is a master of shaping all these policies of chaos and extracting the best from them, which are votes – we are talking here about the votes that come from that body of the national electorate. /The Geopost/