Photo by Marko Risovic / Kamerades.

February to see closing arguments in trial for arson attack on journalist’s house

February 1, 2023

With the scheduling of closing arguments for both the defence and prosecution on 20th February, the retrial of those accused of firebombing the house of journalist Milan Jovanović enters its final phase.

The last, 30th January, hearing saw Judge Luka Pantelić announce that a verdict would be handed down following the presenting of closing arguments.

The first-instance verdict of February 2021 sentenced the three defendants – former Municipality of Grocka president Dragoljub Simonović, policeman Vladimir Mihailović, and Aleksandar Marinković, who remains at large – to a total of 12 years and six months in prison for the arson attack of December 2018.

A fourth defendant, Igor Novaković, who is being tried under a separate procedure, was sentenced to four years in prison in November 2021. The Court of Appeal quashed both verdicts, over procedural and technical errors, and ordered a retrial.

The finale of the retrial, which began more than five months ago, opens with almost identical evidentiary material as that which was used to form the basis of the first verdict.