Dragan Kecman (foto: Cenzolovka / Perica Gunjić)

Police colonel Dragan Kecman breaks silence on investigation into the murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija

March 31, 2023

Police colonel Dragan Kecman, who investigated the murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija from the very day he was killed, on 11th April, 1999, has spoken publicly for the first time, to portal Cenzolovka, about the obstructing of the investigation into this crime within the ranks of the police and the secret service over the course of 15 years, as long as the investigation lasted, as well as during the eight years of the trial process. He claims that key witnesses were intimidated and their families threatened.

Colonel Kecman secured key evidence and lodged a criminal complaint against three high-ranking officials of the Department of State Security and one former member of the Service from the Slobodan Milošević era, who he accused of organising and carrying out the murder of this journalist. After eight years of trail processes, a binding final verdict is still being awaited.

As the man who knows the most about Ćuruvija’s murder, he has experienced the court refusing to accept him as a trial witness for years, as well as repeated attempts to dismiss key evidence that he collected. He only testified when the Court of Appeal overturned decisions made by the first-instance court and returned the evidence, but he wasn’t permitted to speak about everything he knew even then.

Kecman says that 27 members of the State Security Service were surveilling the journalist constantly right up until the murder was committed in front of his home in central Belgrade, and that the prosecution has evidence proving that the four accused organised and perpetrated the crime.

Kecman also talks about how his own murder was planned twice. Even during the time when he was the head of the Criminal Police Directorate, he was followed and his phone tapped, which shows just how much influence over institutions of the system members of the Service from the Milošević era still have to this day.