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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



Morina's case is not so simple

Serbia expects Northern Macedonia to extradite Tomor Morina, accused of committing war crimes in 1999

August 8, 2019

This expectation is based on the legal acts and a bilaterally signed Agreement on extradition. Still, this will not be so simple, "Deutsche Welle" reports.

Skopje Basic Criminal Court stated that conditions for Tomor Morina's extradition to Serbia were not met. He was arrested last month in Blace, on the Interpol's warrant, based on Serbia's request. Morina is being accused of the crimes committed against civilians on the territory of Kosovo, 20 years ago.

The decision of the Criminal Court will be submitted to the Supreme Court, for its approval or denial, ending up with the Ministry of Justice.

Serbia is waiting patiently for the decision of this Ministry.

„The procedure regarding Morina's extradition should be carried out in accordance with the Extradition Agreement between Serbia and Northern Macedonia signed on November 29, 2011. Should all conditions envisaged by this agreement are met, Northern Macedonia will be obliged to extradite requested individual to Serbia“, Aleskandar V. Gajic, Professor of international law on Belgrade Law Faculty told Belgrade daily Politika.

„Recognition of Kosovo is not an obstacle“

It is already evident that this case of Morina will seriously upset relations between Skopje and Belgrade. This can be concluded by the statement of Northern Macedonian Deputy Prime Minister Bujar Osmani who said that "there are no basis for Morina's extradition to Serbia, and even if there was, he should be extradited to Kosovo, not to Serbia".

Aleksandar V. Gajic considers such statements as "legally unfounded", perceived as "political attempt of covering up the crimes committed on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija“. Osmani, as Gajic claims, "acts contrary to the Stabilization and Association Agreement between the Republic of Northern Macedonia and the European Union“.

When asked whether Kosovo's recognition is relevant to the procedure of Morina's extradition, Gajic responded that this recognition carries great political weight, but that it cannot be regarded as the obstacle to extraditing process.

Morina is in detention since July 25, where he will remain until the Supreme Court's verdict.

Source:  https://www.b92.net/eng/news/region.php?yyyy=2019&mm=08&dd=08&nav_id=107122

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