Serbia Demands Participation in Probing Politician Ivanovic's Murder in Kosovo

Serbia Demands Participation in Probing Politician Ivanovic's Murder in Kosovo

In 2016, Ivanović was found guilty of ordering crimes against the civilian population in 1999 during the Kosovo War.

Social democrat Ivanovic, 64, a father of four, was facing a retrial on war crimes charges over the 1990s Kosovo conflict.

In Pristina, Kosovo leaders denounced the assassination of Oliver Ivanovic.

"The killing of Oliver Ivanovic challenges the law and any attempt to establish law and order throughout the entire territory of Kosovo", the government said in a statement.

A former karate champion, Ivanovic clashed with politicians on all sides in a country still deeply divided by tensions between majority ethnic Albanians and the Serb minority.

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In a protest against the killing, Serbia said it would quit the ongoing round of a European Union-sponsored dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina on the normalisation of relations that was due to take place in Brussels.

Kosovo's National Security Council also met, and said authorities might seek help from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They planned to discuss the issues of auto register plates and functioning of the bridge in Kosovska Mitrovica that divides the northern Serbian and southern Albanian parts of the city. But after a retrial was ordered he was released a year ago and allowed to defend himself while free. "We encourage the sides to avoid unsafe rhetoric and to maintain calm in order for relations between Kosovo and Serbia to be further normalized", Delawie declared.

His rise in full swing, he was appointed a minister in the Assembly of Kosovo after parliamentary elections in 2001 and he was a leader of the Serb List for Kosovo and Metohija in parliamentary elections held in October 2004.

He was in October elected as a deputy on northern Mitrovica's municipal council, running against a Belgrade-backed party.

Ivanovic was killed at 8:15 a.m. local time.

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Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed independence from Serbia in February 2008 and has so far been recognised by 108 of the 193 United Nations members states. Tanin said in a separate statement he believes the investigative authorities will work swiftly and effectively and added that all worldwide agencies on the ground are ready to support the authorities in any manner to help swiftly detain those responsible for the crime.

As many as 50,000 ethnic Serbs are reported to be living today in northern Kosovo, with many seen to be rejecting integration with the predominantly ethnic Albanian state.

At the news of Ivanovic's slaying, the Serb delegation at the European Union talks in Brussels immediately left to return to Belgrade.

After the assassination, the Belgrade delegation walked out.

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