Todosijevic sentenced to two years in prison

MP Ivan Todosijevic, a former minister in the Kosovo government, was sentenced to two years in prison for saying that a 1999 massacre of Kosovo Albanians by Serbian forces was “fabricated” by “Albanian terrorists”.

Prishtina Basic Court convicted Ivan Todosijevic on Thursday of incitement to ethnic, racial or religious intolerance for his comments about the January 1999 massacre of Kosovo Albanians in the village of Racak/Recak, which he claimed was staged.

“He was sentenced to two years in prison,” the judge in the case, Musa Kongjeli confirmed.

Todosijevic was elected as an MP with the Belgrade-backed Srpska Lista bloc in October and was previously a minister for administration and local government in the Kosovo government until he was sacked for making the comments in March this year.

He made his statement about the Recak massacre at a ceremony to mark the 20th anniversary of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, which was aimed at making Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic end his military campaign against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

The Recak massacre, in which 45 Kosovo Albanians were killed by Serbian forces, was one of the incidents that helped to spark NATO’s intervention.

Thursday’s verdict is a first-instance ruling and can be appealed.