Serbian Journalist ‘Followed for Week Before Murder’

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Source/Author: Balkan Insight, BIRN, Filip Rudic
Source/Photo: Photo: Slavko Curuvija Foundation

BELGRADE, 13.06.2017. – Two retired Serbian State Security officers testified at a Belgrade court that opposition journalist Slavko Curuvija was shadowed by the secret service for a week before he was assassinated in 1999.

Two State Security officers testified before the Special Court in Belgrade on Monday at the trial of the alleged killers of Slavko Curuvija that the journalist was tailed for several days around the clock before he was shot dead loutside his home in the capital in April 1999.

Aleksandar Gak and Radisa Roskic told the court that they were members of a working group that questioned State Security agents who monitored Curuvija on the day he was murdered, Beta news agency reported.

Gak and Roskic also confirmed that the secret service file on Curuvija, which was made public in the media after his murder, was authentic.

The file claimed that the journalist was followed 24 hours a day for a week before the assassination.

Gak is the former head of the State Security centre for the northern Serbian city of Novi Sad.

According to another witness who testified earlier in the trial, Zoran Stijovic, the former assistant to the head of State Security’s Belgrade centre, Gak refused an order from then State Security chief Radomir Markovic to destroy the service’s incriminating documents.

Roskic was the head of the secret service’s section that provided counterintelligence protection for officials and diplomats.

The trial for the murder of Curuvija opened in 2015, 16 years after he was shot dead. He was allegedly killed because of his opposition to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

According to the indictment, an ‘unknown person’ ordered the killing of Curuvija and Radomir Markovic, the former head of Serbian State Security, abetted the crime, while three former security service officers – Ratko Romic, Milan Radonjic and Miroslav Kurak – took part in the organisation and execution of the murder.

Kurak was the direct perpetrator, while Romic was his accomplice, it is alleged.

Three of the suspects have pleaded not guilty, while Kurak is on the run and is being tried in absentia.

Markovic is currently serving a 40-year sentence for the murder of former Serbian President Ivan Stambolic and other crimes, while Romic was acquitted alongside Radonjic in September last year of the attempted murder of opposition party leader Vuk Draskovic.