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Serb Ex-Policeman Denies Kosovo War Crime Charges

Zlatan Arsic, a former Serbian policeman charged with beating and torturing a Kosovo Albanian civilian during the 1999 war, pleaded not guilty to the charges on Friday.

Zlatan Arsic, a former member of Serbia’s Police, pleaded not guilty on Friday at Pristina Basic Court to war crime charges. “I feel myself not guilty of all charges. I am not guilty,” Arsic said.

The Prosecution alleges that in March 1999, together with other uniformed and armed members of the Serbian Police, Arsic beat a victim with the initials B.M. with rubber rods and kicks and “inhumanely tortured him for one hour-and-a-half, causing serious injuries, trauma and health consequences and seriously threatening his life”.

The Prosecution also claims that during February and March 1999, Arsic took part in the forceful deportation and displacement of Kamenice/Kamenica residents and then “started looting houses and damaging the houses of Albanians by setting them on fire”. “He also participated in the mistreatment of Albanian civilians,” the Prosecution said.

Vasilije Arsic, Arsic’s lawyer, denied his client did any wrongdoing.

“The Prosecution has not presented any material evidence which could prove that my client has committed the charges he is accused of,” the lawyer said.

Vasilije Arsic proposed that his client be released on bail for 30,000 euros or any other softer measure that could end detention for Zlatan Arsic. The court dismissed his request.

Arsic, a resident of Kosovo’s eastern town of Kamenice/Kamenica, was arrested in March 2023 and put in detention. After the Kosovo war, he was a member of the Kosovo Police but was suspended in 2020 after being arrested on smuggling suspicions.

Source : Balkan Insight