Police documents on suicide of ombudsman's friend

The Interior Ministry (MUP) has published documents from a police investigation in the 1993 death of a friend of Sasa Jankovic, who now serves ombudsman.

Source: B92, Beta

The man committed suicide in Jankovic's apartment. The documents the MUP published confirm Jankovic's statements made during the past several days that the pistol used in the suicide was in his legal possession.

The MUP said on its website that the documents that include firearms licenses and a contract about an exchange of pistols are published due to the great interest of the public.

They show that Jankovic on March 22, 1993, some ten days before the suicide, exchanged his pistol for another with another person, along an officially stamped court contract.

Jankovic said earlier that the pistol used in the suicide first belonged to his father, and then to him.

The MUP documents show that Jankovic was the owner of a CZ M-57, for which he had a firearms license, before he exchanged it for a CZ 99. He also had a license for the second weapon.

The law at the time stipulated that weapons cannot be exchanged or sold to a person without a license to possess or buy firearms, and therefore the court would not have been able to stamp the contract without having access to valid documents.

The investigating inspector's report said that the police interviewed Jankovic who said the pistol was bought from the Crvena Zastava factory, and that he "did not have the firearms license for it for the moment," but that the permit was issued and in the police station in the town of Loznica.

The license shows that Jankovic possesses a CZ-99 pistol, that the license is stamped by the police in Loznica, but the date is not visible.

Jankovic said it was true that he did not have the license on his person when he arrived in the apartment after his friend had killed himself. He added that the pistol was legally owned first by his father, and then by him.

"At the moment of the suicide I was not in the apartment, when I arrived it's true that at first I didn't have the license for the pistol with me, because my father was bringing it from Loznica," said Jankovic.

The documents the MUP published also showed the presence of nitrates on Jankovic's hands in the wake of the incident, i.e., that his hands were contaminated with gunpowder residue.

Jankovic spoke for the daily Vecernje Novosti to confirm that gunpowder traces were found on his hands, and explained why:

"The reason is that I caressed the hair of my friend who was lying dead. I entered my apartment 15 minutes after his death, and at least three other persons were there before me. All of this has lost all meaning and I do not want to make any further comment. This is my last public comment and I will no longer make any announcements about this thing that has gone absurdly far and is impinging on my private life."

Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic on Wednesday said that the police will not be able to reopen the investigation "due to the absolute statute of limitation" in the case.

He added that the only data he had was that from a police report filed on April 1, 1993, the day of the suicide, and that information about the pistol that was, as the notes said, taken from Jankovic, will be presented as soon as written documentation is found, because there is no electronic version.

"Jankovic Sasa, comma, for pistol CZ 99, comma, serial number 42004 does not possess firearms license, period," Stefanovic read out from the police notes.

The controversy emerged when the daily Informer on April 18 reported that Jankovic did not have a license for the pistol used in the suicide committed by his friend.


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