21 January 2016
Today, at the Basic Court of Mitrovica the panel of international judges found the accused, O.I., guilty of committing the criminal offense of “War crime against the civilian population.”
The Court found proven that on 14 April 1999 numerous Albanian families were forcefully removed from their houses by the Serbian forces and gathered together outside into the streets. Among these, a group of men were taken over from the army by a group of paramilitary/police until they reached a police/paramilitary checkpoint. O.I. was part of the group of paramilitaries/police present at the checkpoint. He was wearing blue uniform and he was armed.
The men were then escorted through the checkpoint. Four men were shot until the operation was stopped due to the arrival of a uniformed person who gave the order to stop.
O.I. was aware of the operation of expelling and killing Albanians. On that day, he willingly complied with the plan, knowing that it would result in the killings.
The accused, O.I., was sentenced to 9 years of imprisonment.
With regard to the events of 3 February 2000, subject of the second count of the indictment, the Court found the accused O.I., D.D., N.V., I.V., and A.L. not guilty and thus acquitted them of all charges.
All parties have the right to appeal.
The panel of judges has decided to retain O.I. in house detention. This decision can be appealed by the prosecution in the following 24 hours.