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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 12 March, 2003, 22:14 GMT
Full text: Serbian statement on Djindjic killing
Here is the full text of the statement from the Serbian Government which accuses the organised crime group known as the Zemun Clan of assassinating Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic.

The operation that was launched by the Serbian Government several months ago to curb organised crime has been completed with the appointment of a special prosecutor and the collection of statements by protected witnesses.

A warrant for the arrest of the greatest organised crime group in the region of the former Yugoslavia was to be signed and issued today.

Among dozens of crimes for which they are held responsible are:

  • the kidnapping and murder of former Serbian President Ivan Stambolic
  • the crimes on the Ibar highway; the attempted murder of Vuk Draskovic (leader of the Serbian Renewal Movement) in Budva
  • dozens of kidnappings over the past several years
  • over 50 murders committed on the territory of Belgrade and other cities
  • organised trade in narcotics and the creation of a network of dealers on the territory of Yugoslavia and Europe
  • the use of terrorist methods and means in mutual conflicts which have endangered the safety of all citizens
  • the bomb attack on the Zemun Polje-based Defence Road company
  • the attempted assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Dr Zoran Djindjic on 21 February this year on the section of the highway near the Limes hall
  • the assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Dr Zoran Djindjic on 12 March outside the Serbian government building.

This organised crime group, generally known as the Zemun clan, consists of 200 criminals, against whom over 300 charges have been filed so far.

The assassination of Prime Minister Dr Zoran Djindjic represents an attempt by this group to halt the ongoing fight against organised crime, and by each of them individually to avoid being arrested.

Anarchist aims

Hiding under the cloak of patriotism, attempts at meddling in politics, forging links with state institutions, bribing journalists and analysts, and public attacks on the Serbian Government and its prime minister in particular - all of these are the means that this group has been using since the arrests of the persons responsible for the Ibar highway murders.

The assassination of the Serbian prime minister represents an attempt by this criminal gang to create chaos, anarchy and fear in the country, namely everything that makes up the natural environment for this group's activities.

In such an environment, by invoking patriotism and hiding their real face behind it, they have been trying to win the support of some political structures in order to avoid accountability for the crimes they committed.

Regardless of the huge loss that the government and the citizens of Serbia suffered today, the Serbian Government will complete the job that was started with unabated resolve.

The introduction of the state of emergency is a necessary measure, aimed at bringing the criminals to justice and defending the state from this and any similar group that dares to attack the democratic institutions of the state of Serbia.

Serbian premier assassinated
12 Mar 03 |  Europe

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