Dragoljub Simonovic (photo: Marko Risovic)

Appellate court schedules late-March public hearing in case of arson attack on the house of Milan Jovanović

January 16, 2024.

The Court of Appeal in Belgrade has announced that it will consider, on 26th and 27th March, the appeals of both the prosecutor and the defence against the second successive guilty verdict that was passed last March and condemned Dragoljub Simonović, a former president of the Belgrade municipality of Grocka, and three others accused of firebombing the house of journalist Milan Jovanović

Journalist Jovanović’s house was set ablaze on 12th December 2018. The trial of the four defendants began in May 2019 and was concluded in February 2021, with a non-binding verdict sentencing the defendants to a total of 16 years and six months in prison. The Court of Appeal overturned the verdict late that same year and ordered a retrial, which got underway in February 2022. For a second time, in March 2023, the four accused again received first-instance verdicts sentencing them to prison, though this time for a total of 17 years.

After a three-member panel of judges hears the testimonies of all parties in the case at the late-March hearings, so-called “non-public” proceedings will begin, during which the judges should hand down a final verdict.

We remind readers that the non-public part of proceedings in the case of the murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija has been ongoing since March of last year.