Interim report on shootings in Kosovo cites Romanians attached to UN police unit

17 April 2007

An interim report into violent clashes in Kosovo two months ago in which two protesters died and two were injured has found “substantial basis” on which to conclude that Romanian gunners linked to a United Nations specialized police unit were responsible, a spokesperson for the world body said today.

In his report to the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), which has run the Albanian-majority Serbian province since 1999, International Prosecutor Robert Dean also says that the Mission, the UN and Romania’s Government may also want to consider compensation for the victims and their families, the spokesperson added.

“The interim report states that there is a substantial basis on which to conclude that Romanian gunners attached to the Romanian Formed Police Unit were indeed responsible for the four woundings – two of which were fatal,” spokesperson Michelle Montas told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York.

“But there is not enough evidence right now pointing to which specific Romanian gunners were responsible for firing the wounding shots, and the evidence does not show at this time that the entire group of Romanian gunners acted unlawfully.” The report adds however that that there is a reasonable suspicion that three of the shootings constitute crimes under Kosovo law.

“In light of the above, the report says that the UN Mission, the UN, and the Government of Romania may consider initiating appropriate procedures for compensation for the surviving family members of those fatally shot and for those seriously wounded,” Ms. Montas said, stressing however that the investigation is continuing and the report is interim in nature.

UNMIK has repeatedly stated its commitment to ensuring a full and impartial investigation into the deaths, which occurred on 10 February in the capital Pristina when police used rubber bullets against pro-independence demonstrators. The protest followed the unveiling of UN proposals for the future status of the province.

 

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