Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dacic: Arrests near Gnjilane are provocation

BELGRADE - Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic confirmed in Belgrade on Saturday that four members of the Serbian police (MUP) and one more person were arrested near Gnjilane, eastern Kosovo, qualifying it as Pristina's provocation, and announcing reciprocity measures unless the situation is clarified within 48 hours.

Dacic told Tanjug that the arrested MUP members are living near Gnjilan but work in Vranje, eastern Serbia, and while speaking about the reciprocity measures he recalled that there are members of the Kosovo Police Service living in Raska, Nis and Vranje, southern Serbia, who were involved in the actions of seizure of administrative crossings.

“Serbia did not take any repressive measures against them back then. Serbia's police officers do not work in Kosovo, moreover the fact that some people live in Kosovo-Methoja but work in Vranje is not a reason to curtail one's freedom,” Dacic said in a statement for Tanjug.

Dacic recalled that according to Resolution 1244 and the Kumanovo Agreement, the Serbian police was displaced from Kosovo-Metohija, and that for instance the Gnjilane police is now located in Vranje.

The same is with the Kosovo Police Service, Dacic said, adding that there are Serbs who are members of the Kosovo police and commuting to work from Raska, Nis and Vranje, adding some of them have even took part in Pristina's attempt of seizure of the administrative crossings in the summer of 2011.

Dacic qualified ROSU's action as yet another provocation by the Pristina authorities which may thwart the Brussels agreement.
“We urge a detailed investigation and the release of the arrested since there is no legal basis to arrest persons for working in police administrations in central Serbia which cover certain municipalities in Kosovo,” Dacic said.

The minister noted that the Kosovo police stated that the arrested Serbs may be charged with infringement of the constitution of Kosovo.
“We all have it clear how great a number of persons could be arrested for the violation of the Serbian Constitution, but Serbia will not do that,” Dacic said, recalling that Serbia is calling for a probe into the entire case and whether the international missions were familiar with the action.

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