Test reveals alcohol, drugs in bear cage victim

BELGRADE -- 22-year old Branko Jovanović, who died in the Belgrade Zoo, was in alcoholic stupor when he fell to his death.

The forensic and toxicology report submitted to the District Court in Belgrade indicates that Jovanović, who fell into the Belgrade Zoo bear cage in the early hours of Monday, had 0.2 percent of alcohol, as well as traces of cannabis in his system when he died, Beta reported.

The legal limit of alcohol blood concentration in Serbia is at 0.05 percent.

The official report added that the caged animals inflicted some of Jovanović's injuries while he was still alive, while others came post mortem.

In a report Wednesday, daily Politika quoted its source from the Institute for Forensic Medecine that denied claims in media that the man died after falling from the Kalemegdan fortress walls and hitting his head against the concrete, causing his neck to break.

The source said he died as a result of massive bleeding.

"Injuries resulting from the fall were found on the young man’s body during the autopsy. However, they would not have been fatal," said the source, closely involved in the investigation.

"Several fractures were discovered, but I couldn’t give you the exact number, nor what parts of the body were in question. No stab or gunshot wounds were found on the body, and the possibility that he was murdered is pure conjecture.“

The fact that the young man was found completely naked presents another quandary for the investigators.

Politika’s source reports that Jovanović’s clothes were found near his body. They included his t-shirt containing a tear, a pair of bermuda shorts in the pocket of which a mobile phone was discovered, and a pair of black Nike trainers.

Together with his clothing, there was also the young man’s driving licence and a pass for the Post Office where he worked.

The Investigative Judge at Belgrade District Court, Novica Mihajlović, will decide whether to launch an investigation after he receives all the medical documentation, and the exact cause of death has been determined.

Papers face charges over zoo incident photos

The Ministry of Culture will press charges against the media that published photos of a corpse found in a bear cage.

“The publishing of these photos scandalously violated fundamental moral norms and exposed the victim to public humiliation,” the Ministry said in a statement released Tuesday.

The guards at the Belgrade Zoo found the mauled body of the man in the bear cage around 8 a.m. Sunday, after which some newspapers printed the images on their front pages.

"Instead of publishing information about the tragic event, the media have resorted to morbidity that flagrantly violates the public interest. By pressing charges, the ministry wished to make it clear to the media that they must respect the law.”

The ministry explained that the media have published the same set of photographs, which led to the conclusion that these originated from one source and that it would be advisable to investigate whether individuals from services that have had access to the scene had performed an unauthorized distribution of photographs made during the official investigation.

The ministry said that a provision of the Law on Public Information stipulates that the public media must take special care that the information and the way of its dissemination does not impede with moral, intellectual, emotional and social development of minors.

The ministry will resort to such measures in the future, whenever it estimates that the law is violated, it was said in the statement, and added that any attempt to interpret such steps as pressure against the freedom of the media would be extremely malevolent.

A photo of the man who died in the bear cage inon August 20 was published on the front pages of the dailies Kurir and Press.

The Večernje Novosti daily published the photo in one of its issues, but withdrew it from the second, while the Glas Javnosti daily published it on its website.

The Association of Journalists of Serbia, the Independent Journalists' Association of Serbia and the Independent Association of Journalists of Vojvodina protested over the publishing of the photographs of the dismembered body.