Thursday, July 27, 2006

Kosovo: International prosecutor dismisses Mitrovica bridge incident case

Text of report by Radio-Television Kosovo TV website on 26 July

The international prosecutor launched a full investigation into the case of the injuring of the Kosova [Kosovo] Serb juvenile Miroslav Ilincic in an incident at the bridge in Mitrovica in 28 March 2006.

The prosecutor has now dismissed the case for lack of sufficient evidence to support the charges and the investigation will be dropped, said UNMIK spokesperson Neeraj Singh. The victim had been summoned and he refused to testify or participate in any way in the criminal investigation. None of the witnesses could offer reliable testimony and the only important eyewitness to the incident also refused to testify. Many attempts were made to encourage the witness and the victim to testify, Singh added. The only other evidence was the tape made by the video camera of the traffic police on the bridge, which was of poor quality and did not show anything that could help with the reconstruction of the incident, said Singh.

The Coordination Centre for Kosova has reacted to the prosecutor's decision to dismiss the case and has described it as scandalous.

If there is anything scandalous about the whole affair, it is the complete disregard of judicial principles, failure to cooperate in the investigation and then the outrageous attribution of various motives to the prosecutor's decision to dismiss the case. Justice is driven by evidence and unless people come forward and testify, justice cannot be delivered, Singh said. Not justice for Kosova, but anywhere in the world, UNMIK spokesperson Neeraj Singh concluded.

Source: RTK TV website, Pristina, in Albanian 26 Jul 06