Following deliberations, the Court of Appeal in Belgrade’s special department for organised crime has brought the decision to open an inquest into the trial for the murder of media owner, director and editor-in-chief of daily newspaper Dnevni Telegraf and weekly newspaper Evropljanin Slavko Ćuruvija, which has been scheduled to take place on 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th March 2023.
The Court of Appeal brought this decision based on the proposal of the Office of the Prosecutor for Organised Crime, the defendants and their lawyers, with a view to the fact that the court of first-instance did not act fully on the objections filed in response to the previous decision of the Court of Appeal, which overturned the earlier verdict of the first-instance court, resulting in a significant violation of the provisions of the criminal proceedings and impacting on the proper determining of the actual state of affairs.
The Court of Appeal in Belgrade held a public session on 5th, 6th and 7th December to consider the appeals of both the prosecutor and the defence lawyers of the four defendants with regard to 2021’s second instance verdict.
After spending almost 40 minutes presenting arguments against the first-instance verdict for the murder of Slavko Ćuruvija, Deputy Prosecutor for Organised Crime Milenko Mandić requested that the judges of the Court of Appeal modify the first-instance verdict, declare the defendants guilty and sentence them to prison terms of 40 years each, as requested in the indictment.
The first-instance verdicts for the murder of Slavko Ćuruvija, brought in 2019 and 2021, resulted in former leaders and operatives of the State Security Service being sentenced to a total of 100 years in prison – with Radomir Marković and Milan Radonjić receiving 30 years each, and Miroslav Kurak and Ratko Romić both sentenced to 20 years behind bars.