Constitutional Court backs families of killed Guard soldiers

BELGRADE -- The Constitutional Court of Serbia has ruled in favor of the appeals brought by the families of murdered soldiers Dragan Jakovljević and Dražen Milovanović.

(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

The court said their right to a fair trial and right to life were violated, lawyer Predrag Savić announced.

"This is the first time in the history of the Serbian judiciary that a court has determined that the right to life has been violated," Savić said in a statement released late on Sunday..

"According to unofficial information, the Constitutional Court has adopted in their entirety the constitutional appeals filed by the families of the murdered guard members, which means it has ordered the competent court bodies to act on the requests for an investigation against the judge and expert witnesses who hid the truth and interfered with the investigation," reads Savić's statement.

According to the decision which has been published on the website of the Constitutional Court, the families have been awarded EUR 5,000 each in damages.

Savić said the decision was in line with the practice of the European Court of Human Rights, but that to the families of murdered guardsmen nothing can make up the loss of their children.

He noted that the ruling of the Constitutional Court represents a strong moral basis to discover and punish the killers, as well as a significant contribution to legal science and practice.

Dragan Jakovljević and Dražen Milovanović, members of the Guard Brigade of the Armed Forces of Serbia and Montenegro, were killed while on sentry duty at the Karas military facility in the Topcider neighborhood in Belgrade on October 5, 2004.

A military investigation determined the incident was a murder and suicide, while a state commission has said the guardsmen were killed by a third person.