Dragoljub Simonović, former president of the Belgrade Municipality of Grocka (photo: Media Center Belgrade)

Appellate court convicts ruling party official Dragoljub Simonović over arson attack on journalist’s house

May 15, 2024

The Court of Appeal has passed down a verdict with which it approved the appeals of lawyers by reducing the prison sentence of Dragoljub Simonović, a former president of the Municipality of Grocka and a senior official of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party, from five years to four, alongside a fine of 100,000 dinars.

The first-instance court previously sentenced Simonović to five years behind bars.

This has concluded the five-year court case over the firebombing of the house of a journalist who wrote about corruption within the municipality, given that the judgment of the Court of Appeal is final and binding.

Alongside Simonović, prison sentences and fines were also confirmed for the three organisers of the crime that Simonović ordered.

This is the first time a state official has been punished for a crime against a journalist in Serbia. February saw the acquittals of four former officials of the state security service who were accused of the murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija.