The family of assassinated politician Oliver Ivanovic urged prosecutors to investigate new allegations that two Serbian businessmen, Milan Radoicic and Zvonko Veselinovic, ordered and organised the killing in Kosovo.

This post is also available in this language: Shqip

Kosovo Serb Politician’s Family Urges Probe of New Murder Claims

Tribute to Oliver Ivanovic outside his party office in Mitrovica, Kosovo, January 2018. EPA-EFE/Djordje Savic.

Relatives of murdered Kosovo Serb political party leader Oliver Ivanovic urged the Serbian Prosecutor’s Office for Organised Crime on Wednesday to investigate new allegations about people who allegedly ordered, organised and carried out the assassination in 2018.

Investigative website KRIK published an interview on Tuesday with controversial businessman Boban Bogdanovic, who claimed that his now-deceased friend Aleksandar Gligorijevic had told him who was responsible for Ivanovic’s killing.

“Oliver Ivanovic was killed by Ljubomir Lainovic… the man who organised his trip to Kosovo, who prepared the logistics of Oliver Ivanovic’s murder, is Milan Radoicic, and the man who ordered Oliver’s murder is Zvonko Veselinovic,” Bogdanovic told KRIK.

Milan Radoicic and Zvonko Veselinovic are powerful Kosovo Serb businessmen who have been repeatedly accused of involvement in the murder. Radoicic has denied this.

Gligorijevic was an associate of Serbian criminal gang leader Veljko Belivuk and was allegedly killed by his fellow gang members in 2020.

Ivanovic’s widow Milena Popovic called on the Serbian prosecution on Wednesday evening not to “close its eyes” to Bogdanovic’s allegations.

“Although the name of the alleged killer surprised me and I admit that I have never heard of him, I must say that one name coincides with Bogdanovic’s story and what I knew from Oliver and what I learned after his murder. That name is Milan Radoicic,” Popovic said, Beta news agency reported.

“Milan Radoicic’s name was always mentioned with difficulty in our house, especially when Oliver started receiving more and more serious threats [before his death],” she added.

Popovic is currently an MP for the ruling Serbian Progressive Party. Before his death, Ivanovic had become increasingly critical of the Serbian government. Radoicic is deputy leader of the main Belgrade-backed party in Kosovo, Srpska Lista.

Ivanovic’s brother, Miroslav Ivanovic, described Bogdanovic’s comments as shocking but said that the reasons given for murdering his brother – alleged business problems – were “not convincing”

“Oliver and Zvonko [Veselinovic] did not have any business plans [together],” Ivanovic told KosSev news website. He insisted that the motive for the killing was political.

Ivanovic, the leader of the Freedom, Democracy, Justice political party, was killed in front of his office in the northern part of the divided Kosovo town of Mitrovica in January 2018.

A trial in the case is currently ongoing at Pristina Basic Court. Six people are standing trial, four for abetting the murder and two for evidence-tampering.

The indictment does not name the alleged shooter or the person who ordered the assassination but it does claim that Serbian businessmen Radoicic and Veselinovic led an organised criminal group that was responsible for killing Ivanovic.

In an interview with BIRN not long before his death, Ivanovic described Radoicic as the real power-holder in the Serb-majority north of Kosovo.

In December 2021, the US Treasury imposed sanctions on Veselinovic for being “one of Kosovo’s most notorious corrupt figures”. Sanctions were also imposed on Radoicic.

Veselinovic and Radoicic have not commented on Bogdanovic’s claims. According to Serbian media, Lainovic has been living in Spain.

The Serbian Interior Ministry said on Wednesday that Bogdanovic “did not give us a single fact other than his unconfirmed conversations with the deceased and about the deceased, not a single piece of evidence”.

Source link: