Pavicevic found guilty of murdering three Kosovo Albanians, Gligorovski acquitted

The District Court in Kosovska Mitrovica on 16 November found Nenad Pavicevic guilty of murdering three members of the Hajrizi family and sentenced him to 20 years in prison. Co-defendant Lazar Gligorovski was acquitted of the charge of murder because of lack of evidence. The panel, presided by Judge Mahmut Halimi and including international judge Christer Karphammer, gave Gligorovski a two-year suspended sentence for illegal possession of firearms. Gligorovski was arrested a year ago while Pavicevic was tried in absentia.

Prosecutor Muamer Ramadani charged Pavicevic and Gligorovski with “heinously, out of ethnic hate, taking the lives of Agim Hajrizi, his mother Nazmije and his son Ilir on 25 March 1999.” According to the indictment, Pavicevic and other unidentified persons shot dead the Hajrizis while Gligorovski and others stood guard outside the Hajrizi

The court accepted the testimony of Agim Hajrizi’s wife Afterdite with regard to the killing of her family members but dismissed her allegations against Gligorovski. It also dismissed the testimonies of four witnesses against Gligorovski, finding them contradictory. Afterdite Hajrizi told the court she saw five men coming toward the house just before the murder. Her husband told her to hide with the children in the attic and, if something happened, to remember the name of Nenad Pavicevic, one of those men. She said her mother-in-law and Ilir stayed with her husband. From the attic, she heard gunshots and then her mother-in-law saying,” Nenad, how could you kill my son?” After that, she heard more gunshots. The court dismissed the part of her testimony in which she said she had heard that Gligorovski was among the attackers but had not seen him herself as hearsay.

Agim Hajrizi was a prominent trade union leader in Kosovo who was arrested several times after 1989 because of his political activities.

The Humanitarian Law Center observes all trials for ethnically motivated crimes in Kosovo.