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news 25 Jan 13

Serbia Forms Commission into Journalists' Killings

The Serbian government has set up a commission to investigate the unsolved murders of reporters.

Bojana Barlovac
BIRN
Belgrade

The Serbian government set up a commission on Thursday to assess the state of investigations into the killings of journalists in Serbia.

The initiator of the move, Veran Matic, editor-in-chief of the broadcaster B92, believes that finding out who in the past hampered pursuit of the crimes in question will be the first step towards discovering the identities of the killers and of those who ordered the murders.

The Commission will analyse all the former investigations, ascertaining the facts behind their failures, and so creating grounds for future investigations.

The Commission will primarily investigate the killings of three prominent journalists, Dada Vujasinovic, Slavko Curuvija and Milan Pantic.

A publisher and journalist, Curuvija was shot in the head on April 11, 1999, while coming back home from an Easter walk.

The killers and those who directed them have never been identified, despite promises undertaken by every government since Slobodan Milosevic was ousted in 2000 to do so.

Milosevic and his wife, Mirjana Markovic, are widely believed to have been involved in Curuvija's death.

During the March-June 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia, Curuvija blamed the Milosevic regime for the North Atlantic Alliance's military intervention.

Vujasinovic, a reporter for Duga magazine, was killed 14 years ago. Her death was initially called a suicide.

Pantic, a local journalist from the central town of Jagodina, was shot on the doorstep of his home in 2001.

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