PRESS RELEASE Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation: Encouraging verdict

April 5, 2019

The Special Court for Organised Crime in Belgrade today passed a verdict convicting senior officials of the State Security Service for the murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija.

A journalist and publisher of the newspapers Dnevni Telegraf (Daily Telegraph) and Evropljanin (The European) Slavko Ćuruvija was shot and killed on 11th April 1999, during the NATO bombing of the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Convicted today, twenty years after the murder and almost four years after the launch of the trial, are Radomir Marković, sentenced to 30 years imprisonment, Milan Radonjić to 30 years, Ratko Romić to 20 i Miroslav Kurak, who is on the run, to 20 years.

The Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation welcomes the decision of the trial chamber.

Although the Court failed to sentence the maximum penalty of 40 years, we believe that the fact it found the accused guilty helps the society to deal with politically motivated crimes and to confront the devastating legacy of Slobodan Milošević’s regime. This verdict clearly and unequivocally confirms that the murder of Slavko Ćuruvija was organised by the state through an instrumentalised State Security Department.

The decision of the trial chamber sends a clear message that crimes against dissenting voices cannot remain unpunished, and that the perpetrators of attacks against journalists due to words expressed publicly are not untouchable.

We expect the Appellate Court to confirm today’s verdict, and that the authorities in charge will, as quickly as possible resolve and prosecute all crimes committed against journalists in the past decades in Serbia.