Vlajic on expropriation in the north: Pristina changes laws at its own discretion

Nebojša Vlajić
Source: Kosovo Online

Nebojsa Vlajic, the legal representative of the Serbs whose land has been usurped in the north of Kosovo, tells Kosovo Online that the fact that Pristina has initiated the procedure of passing the new Law on Expropriation means that the Government of Kosovo continues to implement measures ignoring the interests of the citizens and not saying exactly what it is about.

He reminded that Pristina had started implementing the process of expropriation in Serbian settlements by seriously violating the law.

"In the second half of the previous year and this year, Pristina carried out expropriation procedures in Serbian areas, not wanting to say in general what exactly it is about and what the government's intention is, which is deeply contrary to the Law on Expropriation, which states that the public interest must exist, and the public interest is determined in a fair procedure where all information will be known," Vlajic told Kosovo Online.

Pristina, the law on expropriation, he explains, uses like all other laws - it separates and takes out what is necessary for a certain situation, and what is not useful to them is absolutely ignored. He adds that there are cases when Pristina completely violates the law.

When it comes to the Law on Expropriation, Vlajic states that the entire chapters of that law have been completely ignored, while the objects of expropriation have not been provided with any opportunity for legal protection and for leading a quality procedure.

"We have initiated a lawsuit and we hope that the Supreme and Basic Courts in Pristina will take the right position and protect the rights of the owners, but so far this has not happened, except that, in a way, most of the activities of citizens and municipal leaders have been transferred to some kind of resting state," the lawyer says.

When asked what kind of response he expected from citizens to initiate the adoption of the new Law on Expropriation, Vlajic pointed out that he fought for the rights of Serbian citizens through legal means and tried to protect those rights before the courts.

"It is time for the courts in Pristina to act on the lawsuits because it has been several months since the lawsuits were filed, and still nothing has been done. It is time to get any decision, also the ombudsman of Kosovo, which protects human rights, is involved in human rights, he had meetings with the citizens and with me, and it's time for him to come up with some sort of position and see where we stand in this process or the government can take away our rights at its own discretion," Vlajic said.

He believes that it would be best for everyone if the court in Pristina makes a decision and brings this situation to the legal ground.

"If the violation of rights continues, of course, we will take all legal measures, but at this moment we do not know what exactly it will be," Vlajic said.