KOSOVSKA MITROVICA – Leader of the Citizens’ Initiative SDP Oliver Ivanovic has been taken to prison on Thursday, Tanjug learnt from his defense attorney Nebojsa Vlajic.

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The house arrest was thus scrapped for Oliver Ivanovic, based on the decision of the Court of Appeals in Pristina after the prosecution appealed against his further home detention.

Ivanovic was sentenced to nine years in prison at the Basic Court in Kosovska Mitrovica for a war crime committed in that town in 1999.

On Friday, citizens will hold a protest against the verdict made by the EULEX panel of judges with the Basic Court, set to begin at 11 am.

Ivanovic’s defense team said they would appeal against the first-instance judgment to the Court of Appeals in Pristina.

Director of the Serbian government’s Office for Kosovo-Metohija (KiM) Marko Djuric said that taking Oliver Ivanovic from home detention to prison earlier on Thursday constituted a blow to the face of Serbia and its people.

“Just when we thought the justice system in Kosovo-Metohija cannot possibly sink any lower, the torture of political prisoner Oliver Ivanovic took an inconceivable twist as he was imprisoned once again,” the director of the Office for KiM said.

“The shameful and cowardly game of tactics of the so-called judiciary bodies in KIM that waited for Wednesday’s round of the dialogue to pass to muster courage for this move reveals all the misery of the so-called legal and democratic system that currently exists in that territory,” Djuric noted, stressing that Serbia and the Serbian people would stand by Ivanovic.