By Die Morina and Gordana Andric
Kosovo police’s director in the Mitrovica area, Nehat Thaci, has been arrested at a border crossing by the Serbian authorities on terrorism charges, although the specific allegations remain unknown.
The Serbian interior ministry said on Thursday that Nehat Thaci had been arrested the previous evening on terrorism charges on a warrant dating back to 2010, but did not give any more information about the allegations against him.
“Members of the Ministry of Internal Affairs arrested N.T. (born 1976) from Urosevac on the basis of a warrant issued by the High Court in Nis for the criminal act of terrorism,” the ministry said in a statement.
“N.T. was arrested last night, around 8pm, at the Konculj administrative crossing, while he was being issued confirmation for entry to the territory of central Serbia,” the statement added.
The ministry said that Thaci, who is a former Kosovo Liberation Army member, has been taken to a detention unit.
Kosovo police spokesperson Daut Hoxha confirmed the arrest.
“Last night around 12.10am we were notified that the director of the Kosovo Police for the Mitrovica region, Nehat Thaci, has been arrested,” Hoxha told BIRN.
Hoxha said that Kosovo Police have asked, through the EU’s rule-of law mission EULEX, for the Serbian authorities to give the reasons for Thaci’s arrest.
Glauk Konjufca, an MP from the opposition Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) party, urged the authorities to clarify the situation.
He made his comments after Kosovo Prime Minister Isa Mustafa spoke at a parliamentary session about the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia under the ongoing EU-backed dialogue in Brussels.
“Earlier, the prime minister referred many times to good relations with Serbia. Not long ago, last night, we had a Kosovo Police director arrested by Serbia,” Konjufca said.
“I expected a statement from the PM or the interior minister about this. Even worse, the indictment is for terrorism, just because he was a member of the KLA,” he added.
Many former KLA members are on Serbian wanted lists, accused of terrorism, but the lists are not public.
The chairman of the Council for Protection of Rights and Freedoms in Kosovo, Behgjet Shala, warned last month that any Kosovo Albanian who was involved in the war could be at risk of arrest if they enter Serbia.
“Serbia has not made public the list of those who are wanted, so as long as we don’t have any official explanation regarding those lists, I call upon all those who think they could be stopped by the Serbian authorities to avoid passing through the territory of Serbia,” Shala told BIRN.