Photo by Marko Risovic / Kamerades.

Legal team of defendants accused of arson attack on journalists’ home request change of judge

January 16, 2021

After all hearings scheduled for November and December had to be cancelled due to the alleged health problems of defendants, the trial for the arson attack on the the house of journalist Milan Jovanović has seen the accused’s lawyers again attempt to obstruct proceedings, this time by requesting the expulsion of Judge Slavko Žugić, due to his alleged bias in proceedings.

According to the findings of Cenzolovka, the defense team’s request has been deemed unfounded and rejected, while the trial of Dragoljub Simonović, former president of the Belgrade municipality of Grocka, and others accused of firebombing Jovanovic’s house in December 2018 could resume on 19th January.

Had the request to disqualify the judge been adopted by the President of the Second Basic Court in Belgrade, the trial would have had to start from the beginning and the past two years of hearings, which included more cancelled than held hearings, would have been discarded, with the entire process of presenting evidence having to be repeated.