Verdict for attempted murder of SPO leader cancelled
BELGRADE - The Belgrade Appellate Court called off the first-degree ruling sentencing former members of State Security Service to several years of imprisonment.
The sentence was set forth for attempted murder of leader of the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) Vuk Draskovic in Budva in 2000 and returned the case for a new trial.
The first-degree ruling is based on a series of relevant violations of provisions of the Criminal Code and the real circumstances were not established precisely, the Appellate Court released.
According to the Court's assessment, the appeal verdict is also vague, incomprehensive, incomplete and contradictory in terms of reasons listed in the accompanying elaboration.
According to the release, the Court established that there are certain contradictions between the real circumstances and their presentation in the ruling.
The Belgrade High Court passed the ruling on June 19, 2012, according to which three members of the Security Service were found guilty of attempted murder of SPO leader Vuk Draskovic and assisting in performance of the crime.
Former head of the Belgrade Centre of the State Security Service Milan Radonjic was sentenced to 8 years of prison, while former heads for the Centre's internal and external extremism departments Ratko Romic and Stevan Basta were sentenced to 7 years of prison each.
Draskovic: State security behind verdict reversal
Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) leader Vuk Draskovic said Thursday, after the Court of Appeal overturned the first-instance verdict against three members of the State Security Service for an attempt on in his life which left him wounded in Budva in 2000, that the new verdict was prepared and passed by the same service which organized the assassination.
"Instead of defending the first-instance verdict, the prosecutor asked that it be reversed, which is a first in the history of the legal system. The verdict was historic because for the first time since 1945, members of the Service were convicted for a crime organized by the Service," Draskovic said in a statement for Tanjug.
According to Draskovic, another reason why "the Service took action against the first-instance verdict" was that all three of the accused security service officials played key roles in the operation to take out Slavko Curuvija, owner and editor-in-chief of Dnevni Telgraf.
"I do not want to speak about legal remedies, there is only a political and strategic remedy, which is to reform the Service from top to bottom and to open secret records, but there was no political will for this at the time of Djindjic, Kostunica, Tadic, or now," said Draskovic.
The SPO leader advised the government that if it really wants to bring in foreign experts, it should bring them to the security sector.
"A reform of the Service modeled after the reform of the Stasi in East Germany would do wonders for Serbia and bring freedom to the people and the state, removing so many hurdles on our path to the future," concluded Draskovic.
On June 19 last year the Belgrade District Court sentenced former head of the Belgrade center of the State Security Service Milan Radonjic to eight years in prison, while former heads for the center's domestic and foreign extremism departments Ratko Romic and Stevan Basta were sentenced to seven years apiece.
The Court of Appeal overturned the verdict and sent the case back to the lower court, after determining the judgment was based on a number of serious violations of the Criminal Code and the facts of the case were not fully established.
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