Court detains ex-Serbian police officer for Kosovo murders | News about courts

The Pristina court has sentenced Goran Stanisic to 20 years in prison for participating in the murder of 13 ethnic Albanians during the Kosovo war.

A court in Pristina has sentenced a former Serbian police officer to 20 years in prison for his part in the murder of 13 ethnic Albanian civilians during the Kosovo war in the 1990s.

A court statement on Tuesday said he was part of a “large-scale and systematic attack” carried out in 1999 by Serbian police and paramilitary forces against ethnic Albanian civilians in Sllovi and the neighboring village of Terbovc, 25 km away. south of Pristina, the capital of Kosovo.

The court referred to him only by the initials GS, but Kosovar media identified him as Goran Stanisic.

Surviving witnesses, mostly women, said they had seen him repeatedly among the armed groups who put men in front of a wall and shot them in front of their wives, mothers and daughters.

“With these crimes, he has committed war crimes against the population in collaboration with others,” the verdict said.

The former member of the Serbian reserve police was convicted not only of murders but also of participating in the expulsion of local citizens, the court added.

According to Kosovar human rights groups, the attack by Serbian troops on Sllovi and Terbovc has left 45 people dead and 11 injured, while nearly 100 Albanian houses have been set on fire. Hundreds had to flee.

Statements against members of the armed forces of both Kosovo and Serbia are rare – because the lack of diplomatic relations makes it impossible to extradite suspects from one area to another.

According to the indictment, Stanisic is from the same village of Sllovi where the murders took place. He fled to Serbia after the war, but was arrested in 2019 when he tried to cross the border.

Stanisic, who had denied the charges, can still appeal.

About 13,000 people were killed, most of them ethnic Albanians, in the 1998-99 war between independence-seeking Kosovo Albanian rebels and Serb forces.

It ended after a three-month NATO bombing campaign forced Belgrade to withdraw its troops and leave the administration of the region to the UN.

In 2008 Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia. It was recognized as a sovereign state by some 100 countries, but not by Serbia and its allies, Russia and China.

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