Official Statement of President Nikola Sandulović: H.Con.Res.45 — 117th Congress
NEW YORK (RichTVX.com) — The U.S. House of Representatives approved House Concurrent Resolution 45, which was introduced by Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1). There is a fundamental error underlying the opinion frequently in discussions at home and that is, to believe a single word the Serbian dictator Aleksandar Vučić says. The criminal Aleksandar Vučić and his SNS party in Serbia are sick people and liars. They are not telling the truth about the Bytyqi brothers. Who can trust Serbian dictator Aleksandar Vučić? Whatever Vučić promised to several high ranking United States officials and that he would deliver justice in the cases of the deaths of Ylli, Agron, and Mehmet Bytyqi, he never kept word. In contrast to the Aleksandar Vučić declarations, in which he gave the lies to high ranking United States officials, it is observed with satisfaction that President Sandulović’s statement also provides rays of hope to the Bytyqi case. The President directs us to send you the following communication to be presented immediately to the public.
Official Statement Nikola Sandulović
In view of the appearance in the newspapers of a report that U.S. House of Representatives approved House Concurrent Resolution 45, which was introduced by Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), in a 423-1 vote calling for justice following the 1999 executions of NY-1 residents, Ylli, Agron and Mehmet Bytyqi, who resided in Hampton Bays, New York, Nikola Sandulović, the President of the Republican Party in Serbia, makes the following statement:
“As the President of the Republican Party in Serbia and as the President of the Union of Republicans of the Balkans, I must admit that I am amazed by the latest very decisive steps and conclusion of the Congress of the USA about the priority of solving the brutal murder of American citizens in Serbia, the Bytyqi brothers. I am very glad that you took sharp and concrete decisions to solve that long-standing brutal murder, and at the same time, I am amazed at how far you disagree with the American Embassy in Belgrade. Perhaps you are not familiar with the long-term lack of interest in that case on the part of your representatives in Serbia, ie. Your ambassadors? I will be specific and very precise. During the service of your ambassador Godfrey, I tried several times to get in touch with your former ambassador Godfrey regarding solving the murder of the Bytyqi brothers. Not once did I get an answer about our possible meeting. From this distance in time and the knowledge I have about his corrupt closeness with Aleksandar Vučić and his regime, I now know why that meeting never took place. With the arrival of the new ambassador to Serbia, Mr. Christopher Hill, I was more than sure that there will be interest in solving that brutal murder would change significantly and that I would have the opportunity to help the USA in solving that whole brutal murder. Knowing the political background of Mr. Christopher Hill, I was much more open and specific about the reasons for our meeting. I sent him official emails in front of the Republican Party that I have a solution to the issue of Republika Srpska and Milorad Dodik, as well as that I have a living witness who could present the entire event and evidence of who organized, carried out and covered up the murder of the Bytyqi brothers. I have not received a reply to any of our emails. The witness to the brutal murder of the Bytyqi brothers is a former member of the special forces of the Serbian police who was a participant on the battlefields in Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo. The same witness has information about mass graves that have not yet been made public anywhere and which are kept quiet in Serbia. The mentioned witness presented only a few details about the murder of the Bytyqi brothers on our Republican Party YouTube channel UNIA INFO, which had over 1,000,000 views. Immediately after that interview, the witness received several
hundred calls from the Albanian side, who gave him support and asked about missing relatives. Also, after that interview, he was also contacted by the Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office, who was very unprofessional towards him, where he officially told them at that meeting that he would not reveal the details of the murder without the presence of the US representative. They also refused to give him his written statement from that interrogation. Since then, his persecution begins, where criminal charges are filed against him for every post he makes on FB, and the kidnapping of his daughter is organized to silence him. He, with my full support and the entire Republican Party, will not give up on carrying out the truth and bringing the perpetrators of that crime to justice. I stand, together with that witness, to help the USA and the Bytyqi family in solving that crime, but we are all collectively
very confused by the dysfunction of the intentions and decisions of the US Congress with what Mr. Christopher Hill is doing in Serbia. He resolutely avoids meeting on the subject of the murder of the Bytyqi brothers. If the US Congress really wants to solve the murder of the Bettići brothers, we will give our full contribution to the immediate and just solution to that brutal crime. We are at your disposal and insist that for each of our next contacts in this matter.”
Congressman Lee Zeldin
Lee Michael Zeldin (born January 30, 1980) is an American attorney, politician, and officer in the United States Army Reserve. A Republican, he has represented New York’s 1st congressional district in the United States House of Representatives since 2015. He represents the eastern two-thirds of Suffolk County, including most of Smithtown, the entirety of Brookhaven, Riverhead, Southold, Southampton, East Hampton, Shelter Island, and a small portion of Islip. From 2011 to 2014, Zeldin served as a member of the New York State Senate from the 3rd Senate district.
In April 2021, Zeldin announced his candidacy for governor of New York in 2022. He is the nominee of the Republican Party and the Conservative Party, having defeated three challengers in the Republican gubernatorial primary.
Whereas brothers Ylli, Agron, and Mehmet Bytyqi were citizens of the United States, born in Chicago, Illinois, to ethnic Albanian parents from what is today the Republic of Kosovo, and who subsequently lived in Hampton Bays, New York;
Whereas the three Bytyqi brothers responded to the brutality of the conflict associated with Kosovo’s separation from the Republic of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of which Serbia was a constituent republic by joining the so-called “Atlantic Brigade” of the Kosovo Liberation Army in April 1999;
Whereas a Military-Technical Agreement between the Government of Yugoslavia and the North Atlantic Council came into effect on June 10, 1999, leading to a cessation of hostilities;
Whereas the Bytyqi brothers were arrested on June 23, 1999, by Serbian police within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia when the brothers accidently crossed what was then an unmarked administrative border while escorting an ethnic Romani family who had been neighbors to safety outside Kosovo;
Whereas the Bytyqi brothers were jailed for 15 days for illegal entry into the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in Prokuplje, Serbia, until a judge ordered their release on July 8, 1999;
Whereas, instead of being released, the Bytyqi brothers were taken by a special operations unit of the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs to a training facility near Petrovo Selo, Serbia, where all three were executed;
Whereas, at the time of their murders, Ylli was 25, Agron was 23, and Mehmet was 21 years of age;
Whereas Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was removed from office on October 5, 2000, following massive demonstrations protesting his refusal to acknowledge and accept election results the month before;
Whereas, in the following years, the political leadership of Serbia has worked to strengthen democratic institutions, to develop stronger adherence to the rule of law, and to ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia evolved into a State Union of Serbia and Montenegro in February 2003, which itself dissolved when both republics proclaimed their respective independence in June 2006;
Whereas the United States Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia, was informed on July 17, 2001, that the bodies of Ylli, Agron, and Mehmet Bytyqi were found with their hands bound and gunshot wounds to the back of their heads, buried atop an earlier mass grave of approximately 70 bodies of murdered civilians from Kosovo;
Whereas Serbian authorities subsequently investigated but never charged those individuals who were part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs chain of command related to this crime, including former Minister of Internal Affairs Vlajko Stojilkovic, Assistant Minister and Chief of the Public Security Department Vlastimir Djordjevic, and special operations training camp commander Goran “Guri” Radosavljevic;
Whereas Vlajko Stojilkovic died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in April 2002 prior to being transferred to the custody of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia where he had been charged with crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war during the Kosovo conflict;
Whereas Vlastimir Djordjevic was arrested and transferred to the custody of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in June 2007, and sentenced in February 2011 to 27 years imprisonment (later reduced to 18 years) for crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war committed during the Kosovo conflict;
Whereas Goran “Guri” Radosavljevic is reported to reside in Serbia, working as director of a security consulting firm in Belgrade, and is a prominent member of the governing political party;
Whereas the Secretary of State designated Goran Radosavljevic of Serbia under section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2018 as ineligible for entry into the United States due to his involvement in gross violations of human rights;
Whereas two Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs officers, Sretan Popovic and Milos Stojanovic, were charged in 2006 for crimes associated with their involvement in the detention and transport of the Bytyqi brothers from Prokuplje to Petrovo Selo, but acquitted in May 2012 with an appeals court confirming the verdict in March 2013;
Whereas the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic promised several high ranking United States officials to deliver justice in the cases of the deaths of Ylli, Agron, and Mehmet Bytyqi;
Whereas no individual has ever been found guilty for the murders of Ylli, Agron, and Mehmet Bytyqi or of any other crimes associated with their deaths; and
Whereas no individual is currently facing criminal charges regarding the murder of the Bytyqi brothers despite many promises by Serbian officials to resolve the case: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that—
(1) those individuals responsible for the murders in July 1999 of United States citizens Ylli, Agron, and Mehmet Bytyqi in Serbia should be brought to justice;
(2) it is reprehensible that no individual has ever been found guilty for executing the Bytyqi brothers, or of any other crimes associated with their deaths, and that no individual is even facing charges for these horrible crimes;
(3) the Government of Serbia and its relevant ministries and offices, including the Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office, should make it a priority to investigate and prosecute as soon as possible those current or former officials believed to be responsible for their deaths, directly or indirectly;
(4) the United States should devote sufficient resources to fully assist and properly monitor efforts by the Government of Serbia and its relevant ministries and offices to investigate and prosecute as soon as possible those individuals believed to be responsible for their deaths, directly or indirectly; and
(5) progress in resolving this case, or the lack thereof, should remain a significant factor determining the further development of relations between the United States and the Republic of Serbia.
Passed the House of Representatives July 14, 2022.
Death of the Bytyqi brothers
The Bytyqi brothers were American–Kosovo Albanian members of the Kosovo Liberation Army who were killed by Serbian Police shortly after the end of the Kosovo War, while they were in custody in Petrovo Selo, Kladovo, Serbia. The bodies of the three brothers were discovered in July 2001 in a mass grave containing 70 Albanians, near Special Anti–Terrorist Unit (SAJ) training facility. The bodies were found with their hands bound and with gunshot wounds to their heads. The indictment against the alleged perpetrators says the brothers were brought to the edge of the pit and shot in the head, causing them to slump into a mass grave atop 70 corpses dumped there earlier.
Agron (23), Mehmet (21) and Ylli (25) were American citizens of Kosovo Albanian origin born near Chicago, Illinois and living in New York City. After the rebellion started in Kosovo they decided to go to Kosovo and fight in KLA‘s “Atlantic Brigade”.
In July 1999, following the conclusion of NATO‘s military response to the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia‘s ethnic cleansing of Albanians and the signing of the Kumanovo Agreement, they smuggled two families – а Roma family from Prizren (Kosovo) – to return to Kraljevo, from where they escaped during the war. Due to a violation of the “Law on Movement and Residence of Foreigners” of Republic of Serbia, they were arrested along the transit road between Kosovo and Serbia. They were sentenced to 15 days in prison. Twelve days later after appealing, they were released. Their Serbian neighbor Miroslav waited to collect them, but the brothers were instead collected by two men driving a white car with no license plates. They were taken to the Special Anti–Terrorist Unit training base. Two days later, they were killed with bullets fired to the back of their heads and buried in a mass grave which already contained the bodies of the killed Kosovo Albanians.
As of July 2019, there are no pending charges in the case and no high-ranking official has been investigated for his or her involvement. However, several United States Congress members asked the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić to extradite former police general Goran Radosavljević to the United States, which he refused, reportedly saying that “there is no evidence for his arrest”.