onsdag 5 januari 2011

Ivanović to EULEX: Priština is hotbed of crime

Ivanović to EULEX: Priština is hotbed of crime

5 January 2011 | 14:11 | Source: Tanjug
BELGRADE -- An official of the Ministry for Kosovo has reacted to the news that EULEX has a "special unit" to fight crime in northern, Serb areas of Kosovo.
State Secretary Oliver Ivanović said on Wednesday that it was Priština that was a hotbed of organized crime and corruption, and that the EU mission in the province "should pay attention to that fact".

In an interview with Tanjug, Ivanović said that the setting up of a special EULEX unit for combating organized crime in northern Kosovo may be a good idea, but underlined, however, that the north was not the problem in that respect.

"I do not deny there are criminals in that part of Kosovo, but Priština is a much more serious problem," he explained.

"The recipe for the success of any police force in the world, and therefore for EULEX as well, is that they establish a good cooperation with the local population. I am afraid that singling out northern Kosovo as the only problem will not improve EULEX's image among Serbs,” Ivanović said.

Ivanović noted that EULEX will get all the support it needs from the Serb authorities, given the protocol it has signed with the Serb police forces.

The cooperation between the two police should be expanded even more, he added.

EULEX spokesman Hans Christian Klassing was reported as confirming on Tuesday that the mission had set up a special police unit for fighting organized crime in the north of Kosovo, and that the unit would comprise both policemen and prosecutors and customs officers.

On Wednesday, Klassing said that that this was "not a special police unit" but something he identified as the Initiative for Northern Kosovo, which he said was "operational since November 2010".

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