Serbs: EULEX indirectly hindering agreement implementation

Local self-government representatives from northern Kosovo, which is home to Serb majority population, stated during a joint meeting in Kosovska Mitrovica on Wednesday that EULEX is indirectly hindering the implementation of the Brussels agreement.

(kosovocompromisestuff) Wednesday, August 20, 2014

According to earlier announcements, the meeting focused on the relations with EULEX in the context of the EU Mission's operations in the municipality of Zubin Potok and the pressures exerted on the current Zubin Potok Mayor Stevan Vulovic and former municipal president Slavisa Ristic.According to reports by Pristina media, Vulovic is suspected of aiding the escape of a Serb detainee from the Zubin Potok police station in March 2014.The Kosovo Police Service tried to deliver the summons to Vulovic last month but failed as he was not at home at the time.In the meantime, EULEX interrogated Vulovic's and Ristic's wives although they gave their official statements to the Kosovo police as required.Representatives of local self-governments from northern Kosovo stated that the unfounded suspicions and threats involving detention for Vulovic pose a serious jeopardy for the operation of the Zubin Potok municipal assembly, and pointed out that fairness and rule of law are brought in danger by the implementation of double standards.And while Albanians charged with gravest crimes are being released pending trial or are placed in house arrest at best, EULEX lex specialis regulations still apply for Serbs on the assumption that they are guilty until proven innocent, the northern Kosovo local government officials said.It is regrettable that neither the Serbian government guarantees or the possibilities of bail or other guarantees for probation are taken into account, as these do not apply only for cases involving Serb indictees, the release states.We want EULEX and the international community to make sure the same regulations are applied to Serbs and all other Kosovo citizens in the implementation of rule of law, representatives of Serb authorities in the northern part of Kosovo said.They concluded that the latest EULEX moves are additionally hindering the implementation of the Brussels agreement, despite the commitment and efforts of the Serbian government to realise the agreement fully.This is why a joint session will be held on Friday when councillors of all four Serb municipalities will discuss the current situation.The officials called on EULEX to stage a meeting with Serb representatives in the meantime and discuss problems of rule of law in the province.The meeting in Kosovska Mitrovica was attended by representatives of the four northern Kosovo municipalities, officials of the interim municipal councils, Head of the Kosovska Mitrovica District Vasa Jelic and Ljubomir Maric as the coordinator of the steering team for the constitution of the community of Serb municipalities.