The Court of Appeal in Belgrade has overturned the first-instance verdict against those accused of murdering journalist and publisher Slavko Ćuruvija, returning the case to the first-instance court for a new trial.
According to this court, the most questionable aspect of the first-instance verdict is the declaring of an unknown person as the direct perpetrator of the murder, which is not mentioned in the indictment. Ćuruvija was murdered in 1999 and those accused of the crime are former members of the country’s State Security Service (DB).
The so-called Special Court that passed its verdict last year, after a trial lasting almost four years, told Cenzolovka that the retrial would be scheduled “very soon”.
Also speaking to Cenzolovka, Ćuruvija’s daughter, Jelena, said that she was surprised by the decision of the Court of Appeal and expressed hope that the retrial would not lead to the accused being acquitted.
Reactions to the decision of the Court of Appeal have come from The Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation, Serbia’s Commission for the Investigating of Murders of Journalists and the Association of Journalists of Serbia, as well as internationally from organisation Reporters Without Borders, the International Press Institute and the Committee to Protect Journalists.
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