Serbia: Convicted terrorists get 40-year sentence

Belgrade, 18 Jan. (AKI) – After a four-year trial, a special court in Belgrade on Friday sentenced four members of the so called Zemun criminal gang to a maximum 40-year sentences for a series of murders, kidnappings and terrorist acts.

The panel of judges,headed by Milimir Lukic, sentenced Milorad Ulemek, Milos Simovic, Vladimir Milisavljevic and Sretko Kalinic for 18 murders, several kidnappings, extortion and two terrorist attacks.

A total of 30 members of the powerful Zemun gang were indicted after the murder of prime minister Zoran Djindjic in March 2003.

Fifteen, including Ulemek, were sentenced to up to 40 years last year. Several have been killed in the meantime and eight are still on the run.

Explaining the sentences, Lukic said it was proven that the gang operated in an organised manner with the purpose to acquire financial and political power.

“The murders were carried out in a professional manner, using identical methods and automatic weapons,” Lukic said.

The court heard evidence from over 70 witnesses, including several “protected witnesses” from within the gang, who agreed to testify in return for their freedom.

Ulemek, nicknamed Legija, is considered the head of the gang and accused of masterminding Djindjic’s murder. In several trials concerning the gangs operations, he has accumulated a total of 120 years in jail sentences.


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