News 06 Apr 17

Serbian Security ‘Destroyed Documents’ About Journalist’s Murder

A former Serbian state security official told the trial for the murder of opposition journalist Slavko Curuvija that the security service participated in planning the killing and destroyed evidence afterwards.

Vanja Djuric
BIRN
Belgrade
Slavko Curuvija. Photo courtesy of the Slavko Curuvija Foundation.

Former state security official Zoran Stijovic told Belgrade Special Court on Thursday that he believes that papers relating to the murder of Curuvija in April 1999 were destroyed directly after Slobodan Milosevic’s regime was ousted the following year.

“According to the statements from the officers who worked for the service, it could be learned that documentation from all over Serbia was destroyed at the Belgrade Security Institute in the night between October 7 and 8, 2000,” Stijovic testified.

On October 5, 2000, Milosevic was overthrown by a popular uprising.

Stijovic alleged that the security service directly participated in preparing the murder of Curuvija, whose family believe he was killed because of his opposition to Milosevic.

However Stijovic said he doesn’t know exactly who ordered and organised the shooting of Curuvija or who fired the deadly shots.

Dusan Mihajlovic, who served as Serbian interior minister from 2000 to 2004, also told the court on Wednesday that he had received information that the secret service was the organiser of the murder of Curuvija.

According to the indictment, an ‘unknown person’ ordered the killing of Curuvija and Radomir Markovic, the former head of Serbian State Security, abetted the crime, while three former security service officers - Ratko Romic, Milan Radonjic and Miroslav Kurak - took part in the organisation and execution of the murder.

Kurak was the direct perpetrator, while Romic was his accomplice, it is alleged.

Three of the suspects have pleaded not guilty, while Kurak is on the run and is being tried in absentia.

Markovic is currently serving a 40-year sentence for the murder of former Serbian President Ivan Stambolic and other crimes, while Romic was acquitted alongside Radonjic in September last year of the attempted murder of opposition party leader Vuk Draskovic.

The trial continues.

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