Court of Appeal in Belgrade

State of emergency leads to delays in appeal hearings against convictions for the murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija

March 31, 2020

The state of emergency and epidemiological situation with the new Corona Virus has led the Belgrade Appellate Court to postpone for two weeks the consideration of appeals against the first instance verdict that convicted four former members of the National Security Service for the murder of Slavko Ćuruvija, a journalist and owner of the newspapers Dnevni Telegraf and Evropljanin [The Daily Telegraph and The European].

A four-day hearing to consider appeals filed by both the defence and prosecution was scheduled to take place on 30th March, but all hearings due to take place at the Court of Appeal have been postponed for two weeks. The court will reschedule once the two weeks have elapsed, as at this juncture no one can predict what will happen with the epidemic.

The convictions for Ćuruvija’s murder were confirmed on 5th April last year, just days ahead of the 20th anniversary of the murder, and saw sentences totalling 100 years in prison handed down to Radomir Marković, Milan Radonjić, Ratko Romić and Miroslav Kurak.

The trial lasted four years, starting on 1st June 2015, and even today – almost five years afterwards – it still hasn’t been completed, with confirmation of the verdict awaiting the decision of the Appellate Court.