Principal Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Kosovo, Larry Rossin, is a mentiroso. Let me show you how. In a recent press conference, PDSRSG Larry Rossin stated:
I personally spoke to Minister Samardzic on Friday evening to . . .underscore that while we hoped and wanted to resolve this situation peacefully and without any resort to force and through persuasion, that we were disinclined to permit this occupation to continue indefinitely or for very long . . .I know that there has been some statements to the effect that somehow there was an implicit or explicit agreement that we would not move until he visited. That was not the case. I made it clear that we would move at a time of our own choosing . . .I further made it clear to him when I spoke to him yesterday morning, while events were going on in Mitrovica, that we had not had such an arrangement and in fact he agreed with me in our private telephone conversation, that there had been no such agreement.
Okay, it seems pretty clear from Mr. Rossin’s statement that there was no “private” agreement whatsoever regarding when the police would move in to remove the protesters inside the Mitrovica courthouse. But was there any “private” agreement dealing with the protesters that were arrested? That question apparently was not asked to Mr. Rossin and therefore not answered by him.
Larry Rossin went on to say the following:
That being the case and after planning and consultation with COMKFOR and with the Police Commissioner, I authorized the operation that took place early Monday morning to reassert our control of the courthouse and to re-establish legality and law and order in North Mitrovica at the courthouse.
Okay, Mr. Rossin “authorized” the operation. Without commenting at length on how a PDSRSG becomes the person in charge of “authorizing” a police action, it is clear that at least in Mr. Rossin’s mind, he believes to be in charge. Fine, give Napolean his due.
Here is where it gets interesting. Here is where most newspapers are going to get it wrong. And here is where lying by omission becomes tangible. Larry Rossin then quickly said the following:
According to the established Kosovo law, thirty-two of the court occupiers were temporarily detained, processed, and then released back to north Mitrovica. Criminal investigations into all these illegal acts, including murder and attempted murder, perpetrated on UNMIK and on KFOR soldiers are ongoing and we firmly intend to bring those responsible for these crimes to justice.
It’s interesting that all the questions by the press dealt either with the “agreement” Larry Rossin had with Minister Samardzic or what the UN plans on doing in Mitrovica. The real issue here deals with Rossin’s statement about “thirty-two of the court occupiers” who were “temporarily detained, processed, and then released back to north Mitrovica.” Mr. Rossin smoothly talked past this subject with the same ease as Bill Clinton. Suprisingly or perhaps not surprisingly, no one picked up on it.
Doesn’t anyone find it the least bit interesting that thirty-two protesters were only “temporarily detained” after they were apparently “arrested.” As I mentioned in an earlier post, the police have no more than 72 hours to detain an individual who has been arrested. The policy reason behind the “72 hour rule” is to allow the police to gather additional evidence.
Now, answer me this, Mr. Rossin: what could the police truly have gathered on 32 protesters if they were only temporarily detained? Nada. Further, how are the police going to find the thirty-two protesters in North Mitrovica to continue with their investigation? Good luck with that.
Essentially, these 32 protesters were released without a full and thorough investigation. What kind of message does this send about the rule of law? In many ways, the message is that violence works. Shoot at police and throw grenades at police anytime anyone gets arrested. So much for taking a stand.
The question is, why? Mr. Rossin’s version of events makes absolutely no sense. Let’s break down his statement:
1) There was no implicit or explicit agreement with the Serbian Minister;
2) The situation of the protesters in the building was a serious one because they were there illegally and had to be removed to establish the rule of law;
3) Rossin authorized an operation to remove the protesters;
Protesters are removed and then released later that day back to North Mitrovica.
Huh? This doesn’t add up. Someone from Reuters should ask Larry Rossin directly about why the thirty-two protesters were only temporarily detained and not arrested. Someone should ask Larry Rossin whether he had anything to do with why the thirty-two protesters were only temporarily detained and not arrested?