Shaban Berisha (47) received three-month suspended sentence and EUR 200 fine over demolishing the memorial plaque dedicated to the missing journalists Djuro Slavuj and Ranko Penezic, while ethnic motives were excluded from the verdict, Association of Journalists of Serbia (UNS) said in a statement.
The verdict made by the Basic Court in Djakovica is not given to us yet, so it remains unclear if the prosecution gave up on the qualification of a criminal act as ethnically motivated, although the suspected person admitted it was a reason to demolish the plaque, UNS added.
According to the indictment raised by the Basic Prosecution in Djakovica, Berisha is accused of damaging with caterpillar the plaque dedicated to two missing Serbian journalists, removing it and dropping it 20 meters away from its original spot.
Police report, the UNS said it had insight into, said the removal of a plaque was “ethnically motivated”, “the plaque was removed intentionally and dropped away from its original spot.” Criminal Code of Kosovo foresees up to three years in prison for such offense.
Journalists Djuro Slavuj and Ranko Perenic were on their way to Zociste Monastery on August 21, 1998 to do a reportage on the return of kidnapped monks. According to their family members they were seen last time in Velika Hoca village. By mistake they headed towards Orahovac, that was under KLA control at that time, KoSSev portal reported.