Mihailo Marković finally convicted for defrauding a Kosovo Albanian who was searching for his missing son

On 9 March 2009, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) received the judgment of the Bijelo Polje Higher Court brought down on 30 December 2008 that confirms the conviction of Mihajlo Marković rendered by the first instance court in Rožaje.

Mihailo Marković is thus finally sentenced to eighteen months of imprisonment because between December 2000 and December 2004 he fraudulently took 84,000 DM from Sadri Tahiraj, an Albanian from the village of Racaj/Rracaj [Đakovica/Gjakovë municipality], in exchange for alleged information regarding the location where his son, Rustem Tahiraj, was detained. The court obliged Marković to pay 43,000 Euros in damages to Sadri Tahiraj, whom HLC represented during the proceedings.

In December 2000, sixty-eight year old Sadri Tahiraj made contact with Mihailo Marković, the owner of the “Sedma sila” detective agency from Berane. According to Sadri Tahiraj, Marković introduced himself as a person with “connections” in the police and the army that could help him find his son for “it was his duty to search for missing persons”. On this occasion he asked for 10,000 DEM from Sadri Tahiri who shortly afterwards provided this amount. During the next four years, Sadri Tahiraj successively gave Marković money in exchange for information on his missing son Rustem: Marković told Tahiraj on several occasions that his son was alive and that he was detained in one of the prisons in Serbia, in camps close to Subotica and Bor, showed him alleged photos of Rustem Tahiraj, played an audio recording where his son’s voice could allegedly be heard, and on several occasions took him personally to Serbian prisons in the hunt for his son. By December 2004 Mihailo Marković had taken a total of 84,000 DEM from Sadri Tahiraj. In order to provide the money that Mihailo Marković demanded, Sadri Tahiraj sold almost all his property.

On 27 April 1999, the Serbian army and police separated approximately 300 Albanian men from a column of refugees in the village of Meja/Mejë, Gjakovë/Đakovica municipality. Twenty-two year old Rustem Tahiraj, Sadri Tahiraj’s son, was among these men. His body was found in a mass grave in Batajnica and handed over to his family in August 2005.

Point of contact:
Sandra Orlović, Project Coordinator
+381 11 3444-313