Lawyer Arsic: Witnesses did not mention Djokovic as the perpetrator of war crimes

Source: Kosovo Online

Milorad Djokovic's defense attorney, Vasilije Arsic, stated that today, in the proceedings before the Special Department of the Basic Court in Pristina against Djokovic, two witnesses had been heard, whose testimony, according to him, had been favorable to the defense.

As he stated, the witnesses had not mentioned Djokovic as the perpetrator of the criminal offense he was charged with.

"Two witnesses were heard at the prosecution's request, and the witnesses presented their views. None of the witnesses directly mentioned Djokovic as the perpetrator of war crimes, which gives the defense encouragement because if this pace of testimony continues, I hope that justice will prevail, and in the end, the court will reach a fair conclusion regarding the indictment brought by the special prosecutor's office," Arsic said.

He added that today's testimony had ended in favor of the accused.

"In the defense's opinion, today's witnesses ended their testimony in our favor; they did not accuse Djokovic of committing the war crime he is charged with. We do not dispute that the event took place in May 1999, but we dispute that Djokovic participated in that event," Arsic stated.

He recalled that Djokovic's house, which he had started building in Vitomirica, had been demolished, and emphasized that his client's suffering had begun when he had initiated property proceedings.

"There is truth in the fact that all his troubles began when he started resolving his property issues in Vitomirica. One of the witnesses spoke about Djokovic taking over some property from his great-grandfather, and that's when his suffering began. First, they wanted to seize his property, which they did by force; the Municipality of Pec did it without any compensation, although it was disputed before the Administrative Court in Pristina, and we obtained a judgment in favor of Djokovic. However, in 2019 and later in 2021, the house that he started building in Vitomirica was demolished. This impression leads us to suspect that everything started from there," Arsic said.

He stated that many more witnesses remained to be heard in Djokovic's case.

"The prosecution has proposed 36 witnesses, and then defense witnesses will be heard, so there will be nearly 50 witnesses in total," he added.

The next hearing in the case against Djokovic is scheduled for April 30th.

Djokovic was arrested in June 2022 and accused of allegedly committing war crimes from 1998 to 1999 in the village of Ozdrim near Pec and surrounding villages as a member of Serbian police and military forces.

A year after his arrest, Djokovic pleaded not guilty to the charges against him during the trial.