ISSN 2330-717X

Former Kosovo Police Officer Found Dead In Forest

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By Adelina Ahmeti

Former Kosovo police officer Fadil Syleviqi, 55, was found dead on Friday afternoon on a forest road leading from Pristina to Badovci Lake, police said.

Police said they were informed shortly after 2pm local time that a person with no signs of life was lying on the ground by the road.

“Police immediately went to the scene, contacted the family members of the person and called a prosecutor and emergency teams. At the scene, police found that the person was dead,” said Kosovo police spokesperson Bajram Krasniqi.

Pristina Basic Prosecution confirmed the incident.

“The prosecutor is on his way to the scene to see what has happened. The police are also at the scene. He [Syleviqi] was found dead in the forest,” Pristina’s chief prosecutor, Kujtim Munishi, told BIRN.

In the years prior to his death, several media outlets in Kosovo reported that Suleviqi, an ethnic Albanian, had been a member of the Serbian-controlled police force when Kosovo was still under Belgrade’s control, before the end of the war for independence in 1999.

Klan Kosova TV reported in 2015 that relatives of a doctor called Hafir Shala alleged that Suleviqi was one of the members of the Serbian police force who were responsible for the arrest of the doctor, whose whereabouts are still unknown.

In 2016, Ramiz Lladrovci, Kosovo’s former ambassador to Albania, who is now the mayor of Drenas, also accused Suleviqi of involvement in the Shala case.

In 2019, in an interview with Pristina-based television station T7, Rrustem Mustafa, a wartime commander with the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, confirmed that Suleviqi had been held by the Kosovo guerrilla force during the war in 1999.

“We all know that he [Suleviqi] was a member of Serbian State Security. I detained him… Now he is a senior Kosovo Police officer,” Mustafa said.

Mustafa was convicted by a Pristina court in 2013 of torturing wartime prisoners at a KLA detention centre during the 1998-99 war. He was summoned for questioning in January 2019 by the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague, which is investigating alleged wartime and post-war crimes by KLA members.

In September 2003, Suleviqi was wounded in an attack while he was in a car with another person, Agim Makolli, who died in the incident.

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Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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