Serbia releases senior Kosovo police officer

A prosecutor has dropped charges against a police officer who was arrested on "terrorism" charges

Serbia releases senior Kosovo police officer

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Belgrade court on Tuesday ordered the release of a senior Kosovo police officer arrested on suspicion of "terrorism" after a prosecutor dropped charges against him, his lawyer said.

Nehat Thaqi, director of police in Kosovo's northern Mitrovica area, was released on Tuesday afternoon, lawyer Sead Spahovic told AFP.

The 40-year-old had been arrested in late September as he crossed into Serbia and was detained on suspicion of "terrorism" although the specific allegations were never publicised.

The case has hiked tensions between Serbia and its former province Kosovo.

"I haven't got anything official, but according to information I have, the prosecutor gave up the case... following our appeal against a lower court's decision to extend his 30-day detention for another month," Spahovic said.

"This shows how unprofessional and senseless it was for the prosecutor to request to extend the detention."

Pristina on Monday advised its citizens not to use neighbouring Serbia as a transit country after the arrest on Friday of another Kosovo Albanian, the second in a month. 

Hilmi Kelmendi, 36, was arrested while travelling from Kosovo to Germany on suspicion of committing war crimes during the 1998-1999 conflict, a statement from the foreign ministry in Pristina said.

"This arrest is unacceptable and endangers many processes achieved during the dialogue for the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia," the foreign ministry in Pristina said on Monday.

Spahovic, who also represents Kelmendi, said his client would appear before a judge on Wednesday, accused of involvement in a kidnapping in June 1999.

The conflict pitted ethnic Albanian guerrillas seeking independence against Serbian forces, who withdrew from the territory following NATO air strikes.

Serbia refuses to recognise Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence made a decade later in 2008.


Last Mod: 02 Kasım 2016, 09:17
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