Court acquits Serbia’s former special unit members of 2001 mutiny

Court acquits Serbia’s former special unit members of 2001 mutiny

Court acquits Serbia’s former special unit members of 2001 mutiny Izvor: REUTERS/Goran Tomašević

The Appellant Court in Belgrade cleared on June 14 several members of the former Unit for Special Operation (JSO) of charges for November 2001 mutiny, thus confirming the verdict by the Special Court in the first instance, the Bosnian Srna news agency reported on Monday.

Among those acquitted are Milorad Ulemek aka Legija and Zvezdan Jovanovic, currently serving 40 years for the assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic on March 12, 2003.

Djindjic was abroad during the mutiny and after coming back went to a meeting with the JSO commanders, and they stopped the protest, following some concessions they received from the Government.

Just over a year later, Djindjic was killed outside his office, following smear media campaign against him for allegedly planning to extradite the JSO members to the Hague war crime tribunal.

In the meantime, no member was accused by the Hague.

The two, as well as some other JSO members, were also accused of cooperating with the mafia Zemun family also involved in the assassination.

In 2001, the unit in Humvees, carrying arms, blocked a part of the motorway leading through Belgrade in a protest for allegedly being forced to arrest two suspects accused of war crimes in the Keraterm prisoners’ camp in Bosnia during the 1992-995 war there.

The mutiny happened on the day when the former unit leader Ulemek was to appear before a court related to the assassination attempt on an opposition leader when four of his associates were killed in the staged car accident.

The Appellant Court rejected the prosecutors’ appeal, saying there was no evidence that the accused committed the crime of armed mutiny.

The unit members claimed that it was not a mutiny but a protest.





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