Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren – 16th October 2014
This is a response by Fr. Sava Janjic to the interview which Mr. Bajram Rexhepi, Kosovo’s Interior Minister gave today for KIM Radio (a central Kosovo media in Serbian language. The interview is available on the following link: http://www.radiokim.net/vesti/politika/redzepi-kfor-ometao-istragu-u-decanima.html
The Kosovo outgoing Minister of Interior Mr. Bajram Rexhepi gave today an interview to KIMRADIO saying that there are suspicions that someone from Dečani Monastery wrote the graffiti which were seen on Sunday and Monday this week on the walls of the Monastery. The Minister also said that the investigation was supposed to be conducted within the Monastery but that was not allowed by KFOR which is in their responsibility, as he said. The Minister’s conclusion is that in that sense KFOR obstructed the investigation.
As an Abbot of Visoki Dečani Monastery I feel obliged to strongly deny this shocking and irresponsible statement by Minister Rexhepi because it simply not based on true facts.
From the day one when the threatening graffiti were noticed on several locations within the Monastery compound the local and regional Kosovo police were involved. The investigation began on that very day within the Monastery compound and with full support of KFOR. I am personally in touch with the regional police director Mr. Shaban Shala and the municipal police director Mr. Sejdo Dobraj. In this moment we have an investigation police team in the Monastery with captain Kelmendi who is copying the video files from the Monastery video surveillance system (which we gladly agreed to release). The forensic team has already covered all locations where graffiti were written and completed the investigation with our full support. On the basis of the information we have from the MNBG West KFOR Commander Col. Angelo Minelli KFOR has not obstructed in any way the investigative work of the Police. Quite on the contrary, Col. Minelli confirmed to me today that what we can also see every day on the ground – a good and constructive cooperation between the KFOR and the KP.
Due to the complexity of the security situation on this region our Church remains, however, very firm in the position that KFOR protection of Visoki Dečani Monastery is one of the main preconditions for the normal life and work of this Monastery.
On the basis of these facts I can only conclude that Mr. Rexhepi is either not properly informed about the work of the police on the case of Dečani Monastery and therefore released incorrect information or he is deliberately leading a political campaign in media in order to blame Dečani monks for the incident and compromise KFOR in its professional work. In any case the recent media statements by Minister Rexhepi do not contribute to the building of confidence between the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Kosovo institutions.
Abbot of Dečani Monastery
Fr. Sava Janjić