04 JAN 2012 / 13:18
“Any request for extradition or for cooperation with the Republic of Kosovo and its Ministry of Justice is not something to which we will respond, because that state does not exist for us,” Slobodan Homen, State Secretary in the Serbian Justice Ministry, told reporters on Wednesday.
The only possible means of cooperation would be through the EU rule of law mission EULEX, Homen explained. If Belgrade receives a request from EULEX, Serbian judicial institutions will consider it and respond within the statutory deadline, he added.
Homen was responding to a recent announcement by justice officials in Kosovo, who said that they would seek the extradition of two Kosovo Serbs to face charges including an attack on UN and NATO personnel.
“We are in the process of completing the documentation to prove that Zvonko and Zarko Veselinovic are citizens of Kosovo. After that we will send the file to Interpol, and the Ministry of Justice will request their extradition to Kosovo,” Mitrovica Chief Prosecutor Shyqri Syla told Balkan Insight on December 28.
“I don’t want to set any date, but I think that the extradition request will be made in January,” Syla said.
The Veselinovic brothers are wanted in Kosovo on nine criminal charges, including the murder of a police officer and an attack on UN and NATO personnel.
“They [Zvonko and Zarko Veselinovic] are suspected of murder and attempted murder of [Kosovo] police officials, assault on UN and NATO personnel, smuggling, criminal union, illegal weapons possession, causing general danger, calls for resistance and obstructing officials on duty,” Syla explained.
The two men were arrested on December 20 in Serbia, under suspicion that they were involved in producing and transporting weapons and explosive devices.
They will be held in custody at least until January 22, a court in Kraljevo ruled following their arrest.
NATO’s top commander in Kosovo, German Major-General Erhard Drews, earlier named Zvonko Veselinovic as the chief organiser of an attack in late November on NATO peacekeepers trying to remove roadblocks. Around 50 soldiers were injured during the riots.