Foto: Predrag Mitić

Prosecutor seeks maximum sentences for Slavko Ćuruvija’s murder, defence attorneys request clients’ release

January 31, 2019

The prosecutor in the trial for the murder of journalist and publisher Slavko Ćuruvija has sought that those accused of this murder be sentenced to a maximum sentence of 40 years. The defenders of the accused, meanwhile, requested that all four suspects be acquitted.

Milenko Mandić, deputy prosecutor for organised crime, said in his closing statement that the indictment, filed at the end of 2014, had been proven during the trial, and that the four accused members of the State Security service, led by head of the service Radomir Marković, had murdered Ćuruvija on 11th April 1999, according to an order issued by an unnamed person “from the highest structures of the Serbian government” and that they acted as an organised criminal group, with “permission to murder”.

Alongside Marković, also on trial since mid-2015 accused of the murder are Milan Radonjić, former Chief of the Belgrade Office of the State Security service, Ratko Romić, a former intelligence officer, and Miroslav Kurak, a member of the State Security reserves, who is being tried in absentia.

The lawyers of the defendants nevertheless claimed in their closing statements that the deputy prosecutor had not provided evidence proving that they organised and carried out this crime and, as such, proposed that the trial chamber issue a not-guilty verdict.

The defence claims that the entire trial has been rigged, that the case was launched for political reasons, accompanied by media and political pressure exerted on the trial chamber, and that those who killed Slavka Ćuruvija are not among the indictees in the dock.