Former Serb Kosovo police officer arrested at Jarinje checkpoint


A former Kosovo police officer (M.J.), member of the Serb community in Kosovo, was arrested at the Jarinje administrative border crossing between Serbia proper and Kosovo while returning with his wife and two children from Raska, Serbia, to Leposavic in Kosovo, Fonet reported.

The Kosovo Police confirmed this information for the KoSSev portal, saying that M.J. was arrested on the basis on an indictment issued by the Basic Court in Pristina and that he is suspected of involvement “in the commission of several criminal acts: organized crime, accepting bribes and abuse of authority.”

“All further activities and procedures will be carried out in cooperation and coordination with the judicial bodies,” said the Kosovo Police, failing to release any information on his whereabouts.

A number of media reported on the arrest of the former Serb Kosovo police officer even before the Kosovo Police issued a statement.

His wife, who did not want her name mentioned, told Kosovo online that when leaving Kosovo via the Jarinje administrative crossing they were told that their documents were not in order, yet they were allowed to continue their journey.

She said that, when returning to Kosovo, they were first held back at the Jarinje checkpoint for an hour and a half, allegedly because of the procedure and a mistake that needed to be corrected.

The wife, who had to wait in the car with their two children, saw at one point that Kosovo police officers carrying rifles were handcuffing her husband and driving off with him in the direction of North Mitrovica.

M. J. quit the service last year, along with all other Serb Kosovo police officers in northern Kosovo.

Office for Kosovo: Continuation of pressure

The arrest of former Serb Kosovo police officer at Jarinje “is a continuation of pressure and of the persecution of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, especially of the police officers who last year took off the Kosovo Police uniforms,” said the Serbian Government’s Office for Kosovo and Metohija (the official name for what the Serbian authorities consider to be the country’s southern province).

It said that Miljan J. was arrested “in front of his wife and two underage children.”

The Office said it has already engaged an attorney to defend the arrested former Serb Kosovo police officer, and contacted his family offering support and assistance.

It added that this was “a staged, political arrest,” which has to do with “Pristina’s intention to deal with the Serbs it cannot force to rejoin the Kosovo Police.”