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Last Updated: Monday, 3 May, 2004, 10:20 GMT 11:20 UK
Top Djindjic suspect surrenders
Milorad Lukovic (archive image)
Mr Lukovic is a former commander of a Serbian special police unit
The alleged mastermind of the murder of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic has surrendered to Serbian police.

Milorad "Legija" Lukovic surrendered in Belgrade on Sunday night and was immediately arrested, said Serbian Interior Minister Dragan Jocic.

He had been on the run since Mr Djindjic was shot dead by a sniper in Belgrade on 12 March 2003.

Mr Lukovic is being tried in absentia over the killing, along with 12 other suspects. Some remain at large.

"Legija showed up in front of his house in Belgrade and told policemen guarding the house that he wanted to surrender," said Miroslav Milosevic, Serbia's public security chief.

Mr Lukovic, 39, was formerly a senior figure in a feared Serbian special forces unit, the JSO or Red Berets. He got his nickname Legija from a spell in the French Foreign Legion.

Unsolved crimes

The assassination of Mr Djindjic shocked the nation.

Zoran Djindjic
Djindjic had helped to oust Milosevic from power
Mr Djindjic had outraged some Serbs by handing over former President Slobodan Milosevic to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

He had also been preparing a crackdown on organised crime in Serbia.

The alleged sniper is in custody and currently on trial over the killing. Zvezdan Jovanovic has already confessed to Mr Djindjic's assassination but his lawyers say the confession was made under duress.

Serbia-Montenegrin Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic, who survived an assassination attempt himself, said after news of Sunday's surrender that he was "very glad" and hoped the arrest would help solve crimes committed in recent history.

"I hope that he will tell all about the crimes, who exactly committed them and who ordered them," he said.

"Families of the victims need truth and accountability."

The BBC's Matt Prodger
"The suspect handed himself in, apparently under the influence of alcohol"

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