Ibar Highway assassination attempt

The Ibar highway assassination attempt refers to the events of October 3, 1999 when active members of the Yugoslav state security's Special Operations Unit (JSO) attempted to murder Vuk Drašković on the Ibar highway by slamming a truck full of sand into his two-car motorcade. Their intention was to make it appear as though it were a traffic accident.

Instead of eliminating Drašković, who managed to survive the horrific crash, they ended up killing four of his associates: high-ranking SPO member Veselin Bošković who was also Drašković's brother-in-law, along with three bodyguards - Zvonko Osmajlić, Vušur "Vučko" Rakočević, and Dragan Vušurević.

Trial

The trial started with four individuals on the indictment list: Nenad Bujošević, Nenad Ilić, Radomir Marković, and Milan Radonjić.

The verdict in what turned out to be only the first trial (presided by judge Miroslav Cvetković) was delivered on January 30, 2003. The immediate assassins Nenad Bujošević and Nenad Ilić got 15 years each, State Security chief Radomir Marković received 7 years, while State Security Belgrade branch chief Milan Radonjić was found not guilty of the charges. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/serbian/news/2003/01/030130_ibarska_verdict.shtml] [http://www.danas.co.yu/20030201/hronika1.htm]

upreme Court appeal

Above verdict was subsequently annulled before the Supreme Court, and re-trial was ordered.

Repeat trial

The re-trial with expanded indictment list that now also included 8 more individuals (Milorad Ulemek, Mihalj Kertes, Branko Djurić, Dragiša Dinić, Vidan Mijailović, and 3 more JSO members) wrapped up on June 29, 2005 in Belgrade District Court. It resulted in first degree sentences for the following individuals::*Milorad Ulemek (former JSO commander), received 15 years for taking part in the assassination.:*5 other JSO members (Nenad Ilić, Nenad Bujošević, Duško Maričić, Branko Berček, and Leonid Milivojević) also received 15 years each for taking part in the assassination.:*Radomir Marković (former Serbian State Security Service chief), received 10 years for helping those that directly carried out the crime by aiding them after they committed it. He was also indicted with a much more serious charge of organizing the assassination, but the court found him not guilty of that.:*Mihalj Kertes (former Federal Customs director), received 3 years also for aiding the immediate executioners after the crime was committed.:*Dragiša Dinić (former chief of Serbian Interior Ministry traffic police), received 2 years.:*Vidan Mijailović (member of Serbian Interior Ministry traffic police), received 1 year.

The remaining two individuals on the indictment list were absolved of any responsibility: Milan Radonjić (former State Security's Belgrade branch chief) and Branko Djurić (former Police chief in Belgrade).

The sentence was made official on November 23, 2005, almost 5 months after it was delivered, because presiding judge Bojan Mišić took an unusually long amount of time to write it up. [http://www.b92.net/info/vesti/index.php?yyyy=2005&mm=11&dd=22&nav_category=120&nav_id=180942&fs=1] This led to veiled public accusations of time wasting with intent of sabotaging the appeals process which has a 1-year window from the date of verdict being delivered, but can only start once the verdict is official. By taking almost 5 months to make the verdict official judge Mišić effectively made that time period unavailable for appeals, leaving only 7 months for the appeals instead of a full year.

upreme Court appeals

Everyone involved with the case (public prosecutor, lawyers, and the accused) appealed the verdict, and the case went before the Supreme Court again between March 27 and March 31, 2006. The Supreme Court's 5-judge council had three options in regards to the district court verdict: upholding the verdict, modifying the verdict, or ordering a partial/full re-trial by partially/fully annulling the verdict.

On May 16, 2006, the supreme Court made its decision public - it fully annulled the verdict and ordered a full re-trial for the second time. [http://www.b92.net/info/vesti/index.php?yyyy=2006&mm=05&dd=16&nav_id=197841] [http://www.mtsmondo.com/news/vesti/story.php?vest=17325]

The prison detention for all of the accused were extended.

Third trial

The third trial, again under the presiding judge Bojan Mišić wrapped up on February 14, 2007.

The verdict was delivered on February 16, 2007. It resulted in the following sentences::*Milorad Ulemek (former JSO commander), received 15 years for taking part in the assassination.:*Nenad Ilić, JSO member and the driver of the truck also received 15 years.:*4 other JSO members (Nenad Bujošević, Duško Maričić, Branko Berček, and Leonid Milivojević) all received 14 years each for taking part in the assassination.:*Radomir Marković (former Serbian State Security Service chief), received 10 years for helping those that directly carried out the crime by aiding them after they committed it.:*Mihalj Kertes (former Federal Customs director), received 2 and a half years for aiding the immediate executioners after the crime was committed.:*Dragiša Dinić (former chief of Serbian Interior Ministry traffic police), received 19 months.:*Vidan Mijailović (member of Serbian Interior Ministry traffic police), received 9 months.

The remaining two individuals on the indictment list were again absolved of responsibility: Milan Radonjić (former State Security's Belgrade branch chief) and Branko Djurić (former Police chief in Belgrade).

External links

* [http://www.vreme.com/cms/view.php?id=454039 Ibarska magistrala, treći put: Profesionalni kukavičluk] , "Vreme", May 25, 2006
* [http://www.mtsmondo.com/news/vesti/story.php?vest=47457 Ulemeku 15, Markoviću osam godina za Ibarsku] , "MTS Mondo", February 16, 2007


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