by Slobodan RELJIC
We do not know why Everts chose this apartment, but it is certain that he never signed a rental contract with Mirjana Bicanin, for whom ambassador Walker confirmed with his signature that she was "the only legal owner of the property located in 69V/6 Belgrade street in Pristina and consequently has the right to rent that property." That is article one of the contract "made in 8(eight) identical copies, 4(four) of which are in Serbian, and 4(four) in English." In article 1 of the contract it is stated that "in case of different interpretations the English version will be consulted".
It seemed that there was nothing unclear about the property when the OSCE returned to Pristina. Namely, when Daan Everts arrived in Pristina, Ms. Bicanin, because of the reasons that should not need to be explained to anyone, was already somewhat further to the north, in Kraljevo, but she authorized her brother and one of her neighbors who spoke English to rent the apartment to the OSCE and give them the keys. The price was agreed verbally. It was somewhat higher than the rent paid by Walker. By the way, all Serbs living in that building, all of them employed by the Pristina airport, rented then their apartments to foreigners. Only Mirjana Bicanin, airport secretary, never saw or talked on the phone to her tenant.
She was never paid anything. "Walker paid regularly at the OSCE building, a former Ljubljanska Bank, which is in the same street as the apartment," she says.
Claire Trevena, OSCE spokesperson, had a following response to NIN's query: "All disputes in connection with real estate are handled by Habitat".
Habitat is, sort of, a directorate for property relations. On August 25, 2000, Mirjana Bicanin approached Habitat, case file 383. She has never received a reply, although Habitat had the obligation to resolve the dispute within six months after receiving the complaint. "They probably have too many cases," Bicanin believes.
She has in the meantime visited Pristina twice with documents and keys. A high official in the OSCE, Tom Kuperus, also sent her to Habitat after a conversation that went on for 90 minutes. "In Habitat they then told me that they had sent a notice to Everts, left summons on his door, but that he had been ignoring them." When she returned to Kraljevo, she learned indirectly by phone that Daan Everts had been in Habitat and supposedly "promised everything". This could not be checked.
NIN asked the OSCE spokesperson how come the apartment whose ownership was not disputed by the OSCE before the bombardment became disputed by the same organization after the bombardment. Claire Trevena refused to comment. "How come Mr. Everts does not pay rent?", we asked. "He does," Trevena replied, "to a temporary account."
Before the elections, Daan Everts is very busy. "I promote human rights and the rule of law in Kosovo," he recently stated. Such a man could not care more about anything but the European convention about human rights. Its article 1, protocol 1 stated the following: "Every physical or legal entity has the right to freely enjoy their possessions. No one can be denied their property, except of cases in public interest..."
Contract number 329/16.4.1998 about purchase of the aforementioned apartment was stamped in the Pristina court. Until today it remains unknown why the ownership of that apartment has suddenly become questionable for the OSCE.