Two suspects were arrested in Kosovo on Wednesday morning in connection with the murder of Serb politician Oliver Ivanović in January 2018, according to Balkan Insight. The two men, one of whom is a police officer, were detained in the predominantly Serb enclave of north Mitrovica, while another suspect, also a policeman, is wanted for arrest, Kosovo police said.
“I can confirm that early hours of the morning today, Kosovo Police undertook an operation in North Mitrovica related to the case of the murder of Oliver Ivanović,” Kosovo police spokesperson Baki Kelani said in a statement reported by Balkan Insight.
A weapon was found when one suspect was arrested. “In addition to that, two other weapons and ammunition were found during the operation,” Kelani said, adding that both police officers are Serbs.
According to local press the name of the arrested officer is Rade Basara, who was working on the Ivanović case and is suspected of hiding evidence, while the wanted man is a police commander in charge of North Mitrovica, Zeljko Bojic.
Oliver Ivanović, the leader of the Serb “Freedom, Democracy, Justice” party was shot dead on the morning of January 16, 2018, just one month before the 10th anniversary of Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia.
The shooting took place outside his party headquarters in North Mitrovica, a city tensely divided along ethnic lines between Serb and Kosovar Albanians. Ivanović was found seriously injured by a neighbour who called an ambulance that took him to hospital where he was pronounced dead a short while later.
The controversial politician was awaiting retrial having been found guilty in 2016 of being involved in the killing of ten Albanians during Kosovo’s war of independence from Serbia. In later years, however, he had come to be regarded as a rare voice for moderation who accepted Kosovo’s independence.
One month after his death two police officers admitted to tampering with evidence at the scene of the murder after security camera footage recorded at the scene of the crime showed one of the officers picking up a bullet casing and putting it in his pocket, while another officer present, who saw his colleague remove the evidence, failed to stop him.
Four people were arrested in relation to the killing of Oliver Ivanović in November 2018. Two of them are still remanded in custody.