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Kosovo Charges Four With Terrorism Over Election Office Bombing in North

Kosovo’s Special Prosecution on Wednesday indicted four ethnic Serbs on terrorism charges for the grenade attack on the Mitrovica North Municipal Election Commission one year ago.

The prosecution published only the initials of the defendants but BIRN has learned that they are Milun “Lune” Milenkovic, Dejan Pantic, Aleksandar Vlajic and Miomir Vakic.

The Prosecution alleged that the attack was aimed at intimidating voters to not participate in the mayoral elections scheduled for December 18 but postponed because of an escalated security situation.

“While Municipal Election Commission officials, together with police officers, went to the premises to open the office, four suspects committed a terrorist attack by throwing two hand grenades and two shock bombs at the office. One grenade and two shock bombs exploded causing considerable material damage, putting the lives of election officials and police officers in serious danger,” the Prosecution said.

Milenkovic has been in detention since June this year when he was arrested by Kosovo police in North Mitrovica in an operation during which they used tear gas.

Dejan Pantic was released on bail in October after nine months under house arrest. He was first arrested days after the attack while crossing the border between Kosovo and Serbia in a move that caused barricades to go up in the streets by local Serbs for more than three weeks.

One day after the attack on the Election Commission offices, Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti said the police presence in the Serb-majority North would be increased.

The Kosovo authorities were trying to organise elections after four mayors from the northern municipalities of Mitrovica North, Zvecan, Zubin Potok and Leposavic resigned.

They quit en masse together with all Srpska Lista MPs, ethnic Serb police officers, judges, prosecutors and other public officials, in protest against the Kosovo government’s move to impose the use of Kosovo licence plates in the north.

The elections were postponed but were still boycotted by Serb voters and produced mayors from ethnic Albanian parties elected on a turnout of between 3 and 5 per cent.

Source : BalkanInsight