Page 959 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 959

may launch even stronger campaign of “Kosovarization” or “albanization” of the Serbian patrimony in Kosovo.
The judicial system is corrupt and disfunctional, espe- cially as regards the protection of the rights of Serb prop- erty owners. in addition to the illegal occupation of Serb- owned property, dozens of Serb properties in Klina, Peć and istok have been sold on the basis of falsified sale con- tracts. These cases still remain unsolved, and many Serbs cannot access their property they never sold to the present albanian “owners.” arbitrary changing of cadastral records is a particular concern. Church property is particularly tar- geted and it seems that there is a systematic campaign to privatize the former Church property, nationalized by Com- munist authorities, to prevent restitution one day. Some individual cases of the return of Church property by the previous Serbian administration are generally not recog- nized by the present Kosovo authorities, which seriously jeopardizes the economic sustainability of some monastic communities.
Tens of thousands of Serbs and other non-albanians have been waiting for seven or more years to reclaim their usurped property. Often, when illegal occupants are evict- ed, they simply return to the property and no further ac- tion is taken against them. Serbs who insist on claiming their property have been the victims of violence and at- tacks (i.e. Pavlović murder in Klina, attack on the Radosav- ljević family in Klina, and many more documented cases). No arrests have been made for the attacks that have taken place so far, thus leaving a general impression of impunity. Criminal sentencing is often lenient or inadequate, espe- cially when it comes to the few cases involving serious crimes against Serbs or non-albanians actually brought to court.
The Kosovo Police Service (KPS) generally functions poorly. Not a single major crime committed against Serbs and non-albanians has been solved, e.g. Staro Gracko mas- sacre of 14 Serb peasants, Niš express bus bombing, Gora- ždevac killings of two Serb teenagers, Stolić family assas- sination, still by unknown perpetrators, many other docu- mented murders and serious ethnically motivated crimes and assaults against the Serbian community. Serious inves- tigation is carried out only under international political pressure, as is the case of recent rocket attack on the Deča- ni Monastery (30 March 2007). The perpetrator was iden- tified (a Kosovo albanian suspect from a neighbouring vil- lage), but after the prosecutor issued a warrant for him, the suspect ran away.
The KPS often follows a static and rigid form of polic- ing with limited investigative capacities. in many cases the KPS is unable or simply unwilling to carry out investiga- tions. Most Serbs and non-albanians, especially following the performance of the KPS during the March riots of 2004, have no confidence in this police force. Police sub-stations have been set up ostensibly to provide additional security guarantees for minorities as a priority standard. in reality, the sub-stations are equipped and staffed poorly, with very
Kosovo and Metohija
limited authority and ability to act on the ground, and of- ten ignored or abandoned by the relevant KPS station com- manders.
at the same time international police presence has been significantly reduced and only monitors remain present in some local police stations. The present capacity of the KPS for law enforcement and the influence of local clans and criminal structures on KPS do not allow efficient struggle against the organized crime and mafia.
The main obstacle to a peaceful and safe environment for Serbs and non-albanians in Kosovo is lack of security. The establishing of law and order has generally totally failed because the KLa structures have never been demilitarized after the war. The KLa was supposed to transform into a civilian protection corps, the so-called Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC, or TMK in albanian). But the TMK retains the uniform and insignia of the KLa and simply changed the acronym “UÇK” to “TMK,” and maintains the military structure of command corresponding to the former KLa organization. Since the so-called “transformation” of KLa into KPC, many KPC members have been dismissed be- cause of their criminal activities. Despite all efforts to put this organization under firm control, the KPC has retained the ideology of the KLa, obvious in the names of their bar- racks and iconography. The officers of the KPC received military ranks not corresponding to their training and knowledge. at the same time, the KPC has armed person- nel and is known to have important caches of arms, includ- ing heavy arms that do not correspond to its civil emer- gency role.
Some KPC members are known to participate in ter- rorist activities, notably the smuggling of weapons, intimi- dation of non-albanians, attacks against non-albanians (attempted mining of a train transporting Serbs in North Kosovo, 2003, among other acts). The KPC retains very firm links with the KLa war-veteran and other paramili- tary groups that have committed attacks against Serbs, oth- er minorities, freethinking albanians and some interna- tional personnel.
immediately after the war, the still existing KLa carried out a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing against Serbs and other non-albanians. So-called “Black eagles” in west- ern Kosovo and “The Black Hand” in the Priština area are only some of criminal groups who executed dozens of Serbs, Roma, ethnic albanians and other citizens. although there is credible proof that KFOR had information on the activi- ties of these groups, NaTO-led peacekeepers avoided any confrontation with the KLa paramilitaries in the first months of their mission. it is only now that some NaTO classified information has leaked about the activities of these groups and their leaders, some of whom have mean- while become leading Kosovo politicians.

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