By Hadi Fornaji
Tripoli, 21 May 2013:
Five Serbs, arrested on suspicion that they were mercenaries fighting for Qaddafi, were flown back to . . .[restrict]Serbia today after being released from 21 months’ imprisonment.
It was not clear this evening why or how the freedom of these five men, described by Serbian diplomats as construction engineers, came to be negotiated. Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said in Belgrade that the release came about after months of negotiations.
The deal seems to have been so delicate, that the families of the five were not made aware of the men’s release until they had actually stepped onto Serbian soil.
Local media named them as Zoran Nikolic from Lazarevac, Milorad Djunic from Loznica, Milic Martinovic from Arandjelovac, Vojislav Niciforovic from Belgrade and Nedeljko Milanovic from Lazarevac.
Vucic told a local broadcaster “We were all hoping the whole thing would be over sooner, but it was hard.”
This April the Supreme Military Court opened and adjourned an appeal brought by 24 foreign engineers convicted as a result of similar allegations. The 19 Ukrainians, three Belorussians and two Russians all maintain that they are oil field engineers who had nothing to do with the fighting, [/restrict]