Friday, September 02, 2005

Albanian parties angered by sentencing

PRESEVO -- Friday – Albanian political leaders in South Serbia have condemned what they feel to be an overly lenient sentencing of Dusan Jovanovic by the Nis District Court.

Early this year while working as a border guard, Jovanovic shot and killed fifteen year-old Dasnim Hajrulahua while the boy was trying to cross the border. The court confirmed that Jovanovic had violated border guard codes of conduct by not firing a warning shot into the air before opening fire on the young Albanian and sentenced him to one year of prison time.

Presevo Municipal President Riza Halimi said that the courts decision is both scandalous and criminal.

“I hope that this is only the first step of court procedures and that the outcome has a good chance of changing in the second step, because this is an absolutely scandalous decision, without precedent, and I think it soils the reputation of the courts and the nation.” Halimi said.

Another Presevo official, Ragmi Mustafa, said that the court decision shows that the life of a young Albanian is worth only one year of prison, and Democratic Progress Movement President Orhan Rexhepi said “this is not a punishment, rather an award for Jovanovic and a message to other soldiers on how they should deal with Albanians.” B92

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