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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 February, 2004, 17:05 GMT
Judges split Djindjic case in two
Zvezdan Jovanovic, alleged sniper
Zvezdan Jovanovic is accused of pulling the trigger
The trial has resumed in Belgrade of 13 men accused of assassinating Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic.

The trial, in a maximum security court, has been hit by repeated delays since it started in December last year.

Judges have now split the case into two parts, leaving a further 23 suspects accused of a series of murders and kidnappings to be tried separately.

On Tuesday, the court dismissed a request to change two of the judges, saying it was impermissible.

One had been accused by defence lawyers of having links with a Belgrade mafia group which is rival to the defendants' own gang.


Mr Djindjic was shot by a sniper as he left his car in Belgrade on 12 March.

Thirty-six people are accused of direct and indirect involvement with the killing, but only 21 are in custody.

The trial is being seen as a major test of the Serbian judiciary's independence in the post-Milosevic era.

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