The retrial of four former members of the State Security services accused of murdering journalist and publisher Slavko Ćuruvija in 1999 has begun before the Special Department for Organised Crime of the High Court in Belgrade (aka the Special Court).
The four defendants were initially sentenced last year, in the first instance verdict, to a total of 100 years in prison, but the Court of Appeal didn’t confirm that verdict and instead ordered a retrial.
The prosecutor retained the indictment he filed in 2014, in which he stated that the four accused, acting as an organised criminal group and with the intention of preserving the structures of the then government of Slobodan Milošević, murdered Slavko Ćuruvija.
The defence lawyer of two of the defendants, Milan Radonjić and Ratko Romić, brought into question the motive of the state leadership to commit such a crime through the State Security services, stating that “everything the state had to do against Slavko Ćuruvija was done through institutions”. She alluded to the Law on Information from 1998, during the time when current Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić was the then Minister of Information, according to which independent media outlets were fined high sums of money.
The trial will resume on 16th, 17th and 18th November.
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