Convicts in the murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija remain under house arrest

May 31, 2019

The Belgrade Appellate Court has rejected an appeal submitted by the Office of the Prosecutor for Organised Crime calling for Ratko Romić and Milan Radonjić, both convicted in the first instance of murdering journalist Slavko Ćuruvija, to be remanded into prison instead of remaining under house arrest, with them now having been detained at home for almost two years.

The prosecution’s appeal followed the first instance verdict of 5th April this year that saw Radonjić and Romić sentenced respectively to 30 and 20 years in prison for the 1999 murder of Ćuruvija, after which the court extended their house arrest, under which they have been detained since July 2017.

The court did not accept the Office of the Prosecutor’s arguments that the two should be remanded into custody in prison, due to a flight risk and public disturbance, which could impact negatively on the proper conducting of criminal proceedings. The decision of this court is binding and cannot be appealed against.

The trial for Ćuruvija’s murder also saw the convicting of former State Security Chief Radomir Marković (30 years in prison) and Miroslav Kurak (20 years in prison). Marković is already in prison, where he is serving a 40-year sentence for the murder of four people on the Ibar Highway in October 1999, while Miroslav Kurak has been on the run for years.

Responding to the decision of the Appellate Court, Jelena Ćuruvija, daughter of the murdered journalist, said she “it’s difficult to understand how someone who has been convicted of a serious murder can sit at home” … “I think the Appellate Court, with this decision, sent the wrong message to the public and all those who are fighting for justice in Serbia,” said Jelena Ćuruvija.