UN mission chief reinstates 12 Kosovo officers suspected in bridge demolition

18 May 2004

The head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) has reinstated 12 members of the province's civilian protection force who had been suspended pending an investigation into their roles in the demolition of a railway bridge in April 2003.

In a statement released in Pristina today, UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri said the Mission's police commissioner had advised him "that no basis has been established for criminal prosecution' in any of the cases against the dozen Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) officers.

"I have therefore determined that suspension imposed in December 2003 should be lifted and that the individuals concerned are to be reinstated as KPC members with full rights and privileges" immediately, Mr. Holkeri said.

The officers had been suspended, with pay, while police investigated their role in the demolition of a bridge in the northern Kosovo town of Loziste the previous April.

At the time, Mr. Holkeri said the initial findings against the 12 officers, following a joint inquiry by UNMIK and the multinational Kosovo force (KFOR), were "sufficiently serious" to warrant both a police investigation and the suspensions.


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