The twelve men accused of killing Serbia’s first reformist Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic have been found guilty in a Belgrade court. Djindjic was killed on the March 12th 2003 – shot outside a government building, shortly after delivering this speech. The trial has taken three and a half years amid murders and threats, but the two main men involved have both been handed the maximum 40 year prison sentence.
They are both former members of the paramilitary police unit JSO – Zvezdan Jovanovic was the gunman – firing two bullets from an office overlooking a courtyard a hundred metres away. Also convicted was Milorad Ulemek – former commander of the now disbanded JSO.
Ulemek has already been sentenced to 40 years for his role in the murder of former Yugoslav President Ivan Stambolic and 15 years for the 1999 attempted murder of Vuk Draskovic. Jovanovic and Ulemek have been convicted alongside ten other paramilitary and underground figures, all believed to be members of a Serbian mafia gang.
The verdict comes after unknown individuals plastered posters reading Ratko Mladic Boulevard over signs in a Belgrade street renamed in Djindjic’s honour.