Three and a half years after the launch of the trial for the murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija, owner of daily newspapers Dnevni telegraf and Evropljanin, trial proceedings have been completed and closing arguments have commenced.
The first closing remarks were given by Milenko Mandić, deputy prosecutor for organised crime, who noted in the first part of his address to the court (which he will conclude at the following hearing) that all accusations from the indictment had been confirmed during this procedure and that the crime of murdering Slavko Ćuruvija had been proven.
He considers that the presented evidence has shown that defendants Radomir Marković, former head of the State Security Department, Milan Radonjić, former chief of the Belgrade Centre of the State Security Department, Miroslav Kurak, former State Security Department reserve officer (still at large), and Ratko Romić, chief inspector of the Second Administration of the State Security Department, as members of an organised criminal group, upon orders issued from the top of the government, with the entire government acting as the jury, organised and carried out the murder of this journalist, who was a concern to them due to his harshly critical words and because they saw him as a possible serious political opponent.
The prosecutor said that, prior to his murder, Slavko Ćuruvija had been in conflict with then President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milošević and his wife Mirjana Marković, and that the two of them had utilised many state institutions in the service of dealing with Ćuruvija. Apart from being placed under surveillance and bugged, Ćuruvija’s publications were also hit with astronomically high fines for violations of the 1998 Law on Information, after which he was followed constantly by officers of State Security, only to finally be murdered on 11th April 1999, during Easter.
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