Kosovo indicts six over murder of moderate Serb leader

Six people have been indicted over the killing of moderate Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic in January 2018, the state prosecutor's office said on Monday.

Ivanovic was gunned down in front of his party office in the ethnically divided town of Mitrovica, in an area mainly inhabited by Kosovo's Serb minority.

The prosecution said three suspects were already in custody and international arrest warrants were issued for three others, including the two who allegedly ordered the killing.

The defendants include a woman who worked as an administrator in Ivanovic's office who is accused of helping the killers and police officers accused of hiding evidence, according to the prosecution. In its statement, the prosecutor's office did not reveal ethnicity of those indicted, but a local prosecutor who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity said all those indicted were Serbs.

More than a decade since Kosovo proclaimed independence, around 40,000 to 50,000 Serbs in northern Kosovo refuse to recognize Pristina institutions and see Belgrade as their capital.

Relations between Serbia and Kosovo remain strained, as Belgrade refuses to recognize the independence of its former province and, with its ally Russia, is blocking Kosovo's membership in the United Nations.