news 03 Jan 13

Spain to Hand Over Djindjic Assassin to Serbia

Spanish courts have approved the extradition to Serbia of Vladimir Milisavljevic, convicted in Serbia of involvement in the assassination of the late Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic.

Bojana Barlovac

Spanish authorities have approved the handover of Vladimir Milisavljevic, aka Vlada "Budala" ("Fool"), to Serbia, 11 months since his arrest.

Courts in Serbia have already sentenced Milisavljevic to 40 years in prison for crimes committed by the so-called "Zemun gang" and an additional 35 years for participating in the murder in 2003 of Serbia's then Prime Minister, Zoran Djinjdic.

Djindjic, a pro-Western leader who helped marshall the overthrow of the dictatorial regime of Slobodan Milosevic, was assassinated in front of the government building in Belgrade on March 12, 2003.

Spanish police arrested Milisavljevic in Valencia on February 9, 2012, together with his fellow gang members, Luka Bojovic and Sinisa Petric.

Serbian prosecutors want Bojovic to answer for three murders committed in 2004 and for several attempted murders.

Petric has also been sentenced by Serbian courts to 15 years' jail for murdering three people. Serbia's war crimes prosecutor says he must also answer for charges concerning events in Kosovo.

Last March, the Belgrade authorities put in a request for the extradiction of the three to the Spanish judiciary.

Serbia and Spain have both signed the Council of Europe's Convention on Extradition, while Serbia, as the legal successor to the former Yugoslav state, is heir to its 1980 bilateral agreement on extradition with Spain.

The Spanish judiciary decided on the extradition of Petric in November. Other details, including information on the possible extradition of Bojovic, have not been revealed.

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