A court in Brussels yesterday convicted Bozidar Spasic, the former head of special operations of the Yugoslav secret police, UDBA, and Serbian criminal gang members Andrija Draskovic and Veselin Vukotic, of the assassination of Kosovo Albanian rights activist Enver Hadri in the Belgian capital on February 25, 1990.
The investigation found that it was a political killing sponsored by UDBA, using the two gang members as the hitmen, Belgian media reported.
The three men were tried in absentia and their sentences will be announced later.
Two other suspects who allegedly participated in Hadri’s assassination, Andrija Lakonic and Darko Asanin, were murdered in Serbia in the 1990s.
Spasic, who was convicted of organising the killing of Hadri, is one of the most famous Yugoslav secret police operatives, working for the secret service from 1979 until 1993, when he suffered a heart attack.
After he recovered, he opened a private security agency called SIA in Serbia which worked on surveillance and interception until 2007, when it was shut down.
The victim, Enver Hadri, was an ethnic Albanian nationalist and rights activist from Kosovo who had fled to Belgium in 1972.
He was initially active in the National Resistance of Kosovo Albanians and later founded the Committee for Human Rights Defence in Kosovo.
After the convictions, Hadri’s family accused the Serbian authorities of shielding the guilty men.
“The assassins were not sitting in the dock this time because the Serbian state has been protecting them by any means possible,” said a statement issued by his daughter, Teuta Hadri.
Hadri was shot days before he was scheduled to present a report detailing the deaths of dozens of ethnic Albanians at the hands of the Yugoslav police to the United Nations Human Rights Council in New York.
Other prominent Kosovo Albanian activists suspected to have been killed by UDBA include dissident journalist and singer Jusuf Gervalla, his brother Bardhosh Gervalla and political emigre Kadri Zeka, who were all shot dead in Stuttgart, Germany in 1982.
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