Saturday 24 August 2019

Hand grenade found at Kosovo court amid political turmoil

A supporter of the opposition throws back a tear gas canister at police in Kosovo capital Pristina (AP)
A supporter of the opposition throws back a tear gas canister at police in Kosovo capital Pristina (AP)
A supporter of the opposition parties in Kosovo throws a rock towards police in riot gear in Pristina (AP)

Kosovo's Constitutional Court said that a hand grenade was found at its yard amid a tense political situation in the country.

Police exploded the grenade with a remote control "without human or material damage", said a statement that also urged law enforcement officials to find out who was behind the crime.

"This violent act aiming at frightening judges and other officials of the Constitutional Court is a direct attack against the constitutional order," said the statement.

Earlier, Kosovo police used tear gas to disperse opposition supporters who were protesting against the arrest of a politician who took part in violence inside parliament aimed at trying to force the government to renounce recent deals.

Donika Kadaj-Bujupi was arrested on Wednesday and arrest warrants were issued for three of her colleagues in the opposition group that has disrupted parliament over the past two months with tear gas and pepper spray, whistles and water bottles. They want the government to withdraw from a deal with Serbia giving more powers to ethnic-Serb communities and from one with Montenegro on border demarcation.

Scores of opposition supporters gathered in front of the government headquarters in central Pristina, throwing stones and paint against the building. Police responded with tear gas.

Thirteen protesters were arrested and four policemen were injured, said a police statement, adding that many public buildings and other properties were damaged.

Police also searched the houses of two other politicians who were not there.

The opposition has said no more parliament sessions will be allowed unless the deals are renounced. The government accuses them of trying to come to power by force.

Last week the Constitutional Court suspended any action on the deal with Serbia until it has ruled on its constitutionality. But the opposition did not trust it and claimed it is too close to the government.

"The Constitutional Court remains unshaken in its mission of defending the constitutionality and the respect of the rights and freedom of each citizen," said the court.

Kosovo in 2008 declared independence from Serbia, but that is not recognised by Belgrade. The two sides are holding EU-led talks to overcome their differences.

PA Media

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