Kosovo Serb acquitted of war crimes in Kamenicë/Kamenica

Kosovo Serb acquitted of war crimes in Kamenicë/Kamenica

fdh_kosovo_logoOn February 5, 2024, the Trial Panel of the Special Department of the Basic Court in Prishtinë/Priština issued acquittal verdict against the accused Zlatan Arsić regarding the suspicion of committing the criminal offense of war crimes against the civilian population.

The Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo (HLCK), which monitored this judicial process, expresses the assessment that the Trial Panel held a fair trial within a reasonable time. The mail trial in this case concluded within (3) months.

The court was unable to substantiate the prosecutor’s allegations that the accused Arsić, in his capacity as a police officer in cooperation with other members of the Serbian police, participated in the mistreatment of Besim Muhaxheri during March 1999 at the Police Station in Kamenicë/Kamenica.

Similarly, the trial panel failed to confirm Arsić’s involvement during February-March 1999 in the expulsion, looting, and mistreatment of the Albanian civilians of Kamenicë/Kamenica, in accordance with the claims in the second count of the indictment.

The accused Zlatan Arsić was arrested on March 7, 2023, by the Kosovo Police. On July 28, 2023, the Special Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Kosovo (PSRK) filed charges against the accused Arsić.

The main trial commenced on November 24, 2023, during which six (6) court sessions were held, hearing five (5) witnesses proposed by the prosecution and one (1) witness proposed by the defense.

From the moment of arrest until the announcement of the verdict by the Trial Panel, the accused remained in pretrial detention.

The parties have the right to appeal this verdict to the Court of Appeals.