Kosovo: EULEX Raid Rankles Authorities

The mayor of a northern Kosovo municipality has announced that he will cease cooperation with EULEX, the international administrative body that oversees Kosovo,  after it lied to the family of a  controversial Serbian businessman during a raid on the detained man’s house.

 

At 5:00 am local time two EULEX helicopters and several armored SUVs conducted a raid on the family home of Zvonko Veselinovic in the Serb dominated village of Doljani, near Zvecan, reports Serbian media.

Dragisa Milovic, the mayor of Zvecan, said that EULEX had deceived Veselinovic’s family by telling her the raid was being conducted by the Special Prosecutor’s office in Serbia’s capital of Belgrade.

Zvecan is part of Kosovo’s restive Mitrovica region, populated predominantly by ethnic Serbs who oppose have opposed the existence of Kosovo as a separate country since it declared independence in 2008.

Veselinovic has been described by Serbian media as the “leader of organized crime in Kosovo” and remains in custody in Serbia on charges of fraud.  The Serbian Special Prosecutor’s Office for Organized Crime alleges that Veselinovic “misappropriated 32 freight vehicles belonging to Hypo-Alpe-Adria Leasing.”

The NATO mission in Kosovo (KFOR) accuses Veselinovic of organizing riots at the border crossings between Serbia and Kosovo last summer.  The rioting erupted after Kosovo police tried to take over border crossings run by Serbian border guards.

Serbian news outlet B92 wrote at the time of the riots and barricades that “Some of the media in Belgrade have stated that Veselinović is the most important figure in northern Kosovo when it comes to petrol and cigarettes smuggling.”

EULEX did not comment on the raid or the mayor’s decision.