News 25 Sep 17

Belgrade Jail Warden Faces Retrial for Milosevic ‘Kidnap’

The former warden of Belgrade Central Prison, Dragisa Blanusa, will be retried for allegedly kidnapping former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic by sending him to the Hague Tribunal in 2001.

Filip Rudic
BIRN
Belgrade
Slobodan Milosevic in court in The Hague. Photo: ICTY/YouTube printscreen.

A Belgrade court on Saturday overturned the verdict declaring former Central Prison warden Dragisa Blanusa not guilty of kidnapping Milosevic by allowing him to be sent to the Hague Tribunal in 2001, and ordered a retrial.

The court accepted an appeal from Milosevic’s family because the first-instance court’s verdict “contains violations of procedural rights”, Serbian media reported.

The charges against Blanusa, filed by Milosevic and his wife Mirjana Markovic, allege that on June 28, 2001, he allowed unknown persons to take Milosevic from prison and transfer him to The Hague via Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After Milosevic was transferred to The Hague for trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Blanusa was dismissed by Serbian Justice Minister Vladan Batic.

Milosevic was standing trial for war crimes in former Yugoslavia when he died in The Hague, on March 11, 2006, but his wife continued the process against Blanusa.

Blanusa was found not guilty by the first instance court in March this year.

He will also be retried for allegedly unlawfully publishing photos of Milosevic and confidential information about the former Yugoslav president’s talks with his lawyers and relatives while he was being detained in Belgrade Central Prison.

Markovic further accuses Blanusa of the unauthorised publication of his book, ‘I Incarcerated Milosevic’, in which the warden reveals details about the former president’s time in custody.

Mirjana Markovic has been living in exile in Russia for the past 14 years.

She is wanted for prosecution in Serbia but Moscow has refused to send her to Belgrade to face the charges.

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