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Serbia-Montenegro1 September 2005

Policeman investigating journalist’s murder is himself gunned down

Slavoljub Scekic, deputy chief of the Montenegro criminal investigation police and head of the team investigating the murder of journalist Dusko Jovanovic, was himself gunned down at around 1 a.m. on 30 August outside his home in the capital of Podgorica. The editor of the opposition daily Dan, Jovanovic was murdered on 27 May in still unclear circumstances.

27 May 2005 Call for assurances about thoroughness of murder inquiry one year after the killing of Dusko Jovanovic

Reporters Without Borders called for guarantees about the seriousness of the murder investigation after the arrest in Belgrade on 20 May of Vuk Vulevic, handed over to Montenegrin police on 23 May and charged with the murder of Dusko Jovanovic, managing editor of opposition daily Dan.

"The arrest of a second suspect one year almost to the day after the murder of Dusko Jovanovic, is a step forward in the investigation but we wonder about its thoroughness," the organisation said.The suspect who has just been arrested was detained right at the start of the investigation before being released soon afterwards. As a result we urge the interior minister, Dragan Djurovic, to offer us assurances that a thorough and fair investigation is under way, and not ruling out the lead of the journalist’s work.""We expect the authorities to prove the guilt of the two charged in the case and to pursue the investigation until they find the instigators," said Reporters Without Borders.

Serbian police arrested Vuk Vulevic, wanted by Interpol for trafficking 200 kilos of cocaine from Venezuela, in a Belgrade café on 20 May 2005. The Montenegro national from Berane is suspected of being one of a group of armed men who fired automatic weapons at Dusko Jovanovic, on 28 May 2004, as the journalist returned to his vehicle parked close to the Dan office in Podgorica.

The arrested suspect was incriminated by a DNA sample that police took from inside the killers’ car and from the murder weapon. The results of this test showed that the suspect was in the car in the company of Damir Mandic, key mafia figure in Serbia-Montenegro and charged with the journalist’s murder on 4 October 2004. He is suspected of being the driver of the car used by Janovic’s killers.

The journalist’s work is seen as the most likely motive for the crime. He managed a pro-opposition and pro-People’s Socialist Party daily newspaper that supported the former president of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic. He was known for his cutting criticism of the powerful prime minister of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic. According to the Dan editorial team, the editor had received a number of death threats which could have come from criminal groups linked to the Montenegro authorities. Over 600 people gathered at the spot where unknown assailants fatally shot Jovanovic in May 2004.

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