Darko Saric and his associates sentenced to 300 yrs in jail
The Special Court in Belgrade has found Darko Saric guilty of organizing a cocaine smuggling operation, and sentenced him to 15 years in prison.Source: Tanjug
Saric was handed down the maximum sentence and remains in custody.
Saric was convicted as the organizer of the group that smuggled 5.7 tons of cocaine from South America to Western Europe during 2008 and 2009. His associates and other members of the group have also been found guilty, with sentences ranging from one to 15 years.
Eight members of this gang remain at large.
Earlier, three defendant were acquitted of the charges in the final ruling, while nine had entered plea bargain agreements, which saw the them sentenced to a total of 69 years and three months in prison.
Together with the sentenced announced today by the court, Saric's group received almost 300 years in prison.
The verdict on Monday was given after a retrial, ordered by the Appellate Court that overturned the first-instance judgment passed in July 2015, that sentenced Saric to 20 years in prison.
The Appellate Court at the time assessed that the first-instance court had violated the law by not applying a more lenient law passed in 2005, instead using the one from 2009.
Saric is on trial in a separate process in the Special Court, this time charged with money laundering in Serbia. The prosecution claims that he and 17 other defendants inserted about 22 million euros acquired through cocaine smuggling into legitimate flows.