Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Billboard with names of alleged Serb war criminals removed in Kosovo capital

Pristina, 6 April: The Kosovo Police [Service] this morning removed a billboard from a building in the centre of Pristina which had been erected by NGOs around ten days ago accusing 53 Serbs and three [ethnic] Albanians of [war] crimes committed in Mala Krusa outside [the southwestern Kosovo town of] Orahovac in 1999, a SRNA correspondent has reported.

The NGOs put up the 2x6m billboard in the vicinity of the headquarters of the UN Administrator in Kosovo [UNMIK chief Soeren Jessen-Petersen], announcing the names of 10 people they hold responsible, and a further 46 people they claim were accomplices in the kidnapping and murder of 120 Albanians from Mala Krusa.

The deputy international police commissioner in Kosovo, Thierry Leprve [surname as received], told an extraordinary conference in Pristina that the billboard was taken down "because it was in breach of public order and peace", while the list of names of people who have been implicated in this crime have been forwarded to the UNMIK special police unit for war crimes.

"A number of people from the list have already been arrested," Leprve recalled.

Deputy Commander of the Kosovo Police Service Rrahman Sulejmani announced that the organizers and those who had ordered that the billboard be put up would also be held to account.

Serb representatives in Kosovo condemned the erection of the billboard, branding it a public lynching of the Serbs from Orahovac and a way of exerting additional pressure on the local judiciary.

Source: SRNA news agency, Bijeljina, in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian 1009 gmt 6 Apr 05

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