Nataša Kandić withdraws from the Bytyqi brothers murder trial

Nataša Kandić, Executive Director of the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) sent a letter earlier today to Justice Vesko Krstajić, member of the Trial Chamber of the Belgrade District Court informing him of her decision to stop representing the Bitići/Bytyqi family in the criminal proceedings against the accused Sreten Popović and others because it is her and the Bitići/Bytyqi family’s opinion that the trial is not intended to bring justice to the victims but to protect those who ordered the cold-blooded murder of Agron, Mehmet, and Yllia Bytyqi from criminal responsibility.

“I would like to remind you that the trial began on November 13th 2006 and that there have been 31 hearings so far, the last being held in November 2008. A total of 96 witnesses were heard all of whom protected the accused, i.e. their superior commanders, in their testimonies. The Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia (MUP Serbia) and the Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor allowed Goran Radosavljević Guri, a high-ranking police official, to leave the country just when the Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor initiated the proceedings. The fact that Goran Radosavljević Guri freely returned to Serbia to be questioned as a witness in the main hearing leads to the conclusion that he was in contact with state authorities and that he has been promised that he will not be found responsible for this crime.”

In her letter to Justice Vesko Krstajić Nataša Kandić also claims that persons who had minor roles in the commission of the crime were indicted while the direct perpetrators, accomplices, persons who offered crucial support in the commission of the crime, as well as those who ordered the crime, the instigators, were left out of the indictment.

“All this indicates that the trial was initiated and organized in order to offer some satisfaction to the United States administration which demanded that Serbia prosecute those responsible for the killing of the Bitići/Bytyqi brothers who were US citizens. The final result of this trial is to protect high-ranking officers of the Serbian Ministry of Interior from criminal responsibility and to offer a simulation of justice. The Bitići/Bytyqi family and I refuse to give legitimacy to the trial which has not provided a single truthful word about what had happened, who ordered it, and who the perpetrators are” concludes Kandić.