"I have a similar name and the same surname as a criminal, but I am not him": Kosovo police mistakenly arrested and detained a Serb

Photo: Kurir.rs

Milan Jovanovic, a Serb from Leposavic, Kosovo, a former member of the Kosovo police, was mistakenly arrested yesterday at the Jarinje administrative crossing. He in an emotional statement about Kosovo online, told what happened to him from the moment of his arrest until the moment he was released today in the morning hours.

"Yesterday around 16:30 when we were returning from Serbia, we were stopped at the Jarinje administrative crossing at the Kosovo police station. I gave my identification documents. The policeman who took my documents entered them into the system and saw that I was wanted by the Special Court for Organized Crime. I emphasized that it was a mistake and that it was another person with a similar name and the same surname, but that it was not we have the same date of birth, year and month, but that he is a completely different person", explains Jovanović.

He added that he was then told to park in the right-hand truck stop lane and wait for a thorough identity check to be carried out.

"They were doing a detailed check, in the meantime another policeman came and I immediately told him to inform the Inspectorate and that I've been passing there for years, that I don't have any problems, but this time during a more detailed check a call came, I don't know from where, as far as I could I understand the Albanian language, that my arrest should be carried out", says Jovanovic.

He adds that three special officers appeared and immediately handcuffed him, without explaining to him why he was arrested.

"We headed towards the police car which was parked on the right side of the container, they didn't even let me tell my wife that I was arrested. I simply had to raise my hands for her to see the handcuffs and for her to understand that I was arrested, my basic human rights were violated, the right to say that I was arrested," adds Jovanovic.

Jovanović says that his children were also there, who started crying.

"They call me dad, come home with us." My wife did not know how to leave Jarinje, so I told her to call one of her relatives and go home. Suddenly I was put in a vehicle by members of Ross, so that I could not say anything. I asked where they were taking me, and they didn't answer me. We arrived at a makeshift checkpoint in Jarinje, not far from the Jarinje administrative crossing, where the border police and the Ross unit are stationed. Two more members of the unit got into the vehicle I was in, I was in the middle. "We were moving at high speed, overtaking everything in front of us until Severna Mitrovica," says Jovanović.

He adds that even after he was detained at the police station in the southern part of Mitrovica, nothing was said to him. Then, the specialists took him into custody.

"I'm sitting at the table untying my shoelaces and belt and still trying to explain to them there's a mistake. I was given a form in detention in Mitrovica. It was cold, there was no heating, I slept on a concrete bed, it was dirty, I covered myself with my jacket," says Jovanovic.

He adds that in the morning he was told that at 8 o'clock he would be taken to the Court for Organized Crime in Pristina.

"I didn't sleep all night, the minutes seemed like years. When we arrived in Pristina, we went to the court. The plainclothes policeman who was there said that they should not take me there, but to the Court of Organized Crime in the center of Pristina, we reached that building, they sat me down without leashes, without a belt, and some people came, I think they were prosecutors. They quickly left in the office. They came back and were correct and asked me if you are that person, I confirmed that I am not and that my name is similar, to which they replied that it was a mistake", says Jovanovic.

According to him, after returning to the police station in Mitrovica, he had the feeling that the police wanted to continue checking him, although the court confirmed the mistake and released him.

"The meeting with the children was very emotional, a difficult sleepless night for them, but also for me," says Miljan Jovanovic.

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