40 years for Stambolic murder

10/01/2019 Posted by admin

Milorad Ulemek, 37, better known as Legija, was convicted for the murder in 2000, of Mr Stambolic, a popular ex-communist, under the orders of then-Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic.

He was also convicted for the attempted murder of then-opposition leader Vuk Draskovic, the current foreign minister, in the same year.

Last month he received 15 years for an earlier attempt to murder Mr Draskovic, in 1999.

“Ulemek is found guilty of creating a criminal enterprise on the orders of Slobodan Milosevic,” Judge Dragoljub Albijanic told the high-security court as Ulemek looked on without emotion from behind a screen of bullet-proof glass.

His conviction is likely to boost prosecutors’ hopes of pinning the murder of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic on Ulemek and his associates, while providing the first legally established link between Milosevic and underworld violence.

The Djindjic murder trial, which has already dragged on for more than a year, is due to resume in September.

Mr Djindjic was shot in March 2003 by an alleged mafia sniper in Belgrade.

Milosevic will be tried for ordering Mr Stambolic’s assassination once his war crimes process is completed by the UN tribunal at The Hague.

He has vehemently denied the charge.

Ulemek’s co-accused, five fellow members of the so-called Red Berets secret police unit and another senior secret police officer, were sentenced to between four and 40 years for their roles in the crimes.

The ex-chief of the secret police, Rade Markovic, received 15 years for failing to prevent or even report the assassination.

Mr Stambolic was president of the Balkan republic from 1986-87 and was rumoured to have been planning a political comeback against Milosevic in the 2000 election.

He vanished while jogging only a month ahead of the election.

His disappearance remained a mystery until his body was found in 2003 during a massive crackdown on organised crime following Mr Djindjic’s assassination.

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