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Last Updated: Friday, 12 March, 2004, 17:00 GMT
Serbia remembers its murdered PM
Supporters of Mr Djindjic at the cemetery, with former PM Zoran Zivkovic in the middle, frowning
Thousands of Djindjic supporters flocked to his graveside
Thousands of Serbians have marked the first anniversary of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic's murder with emotional scenes in the capital, Belgrade.

People filed silently past his grave to lay flowers and light candles, while Serbian Orthodox priests chanted.

A plaque was unveiled in Mr Djindjic's memory in Belgrade's Republic Square where a corner was named after him.

Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, an ally-turned-rival, was among those who laid a wreath where Mr Djindjic died.

Old friends

He said Mr Djindjic was an old friend whom he had known for 20 years.

"It may sound weird but Zoran and I knew each other before politics, before parties," he said.

The two men once led street protests against former President Slobodan Milosevic's regime, but became bitter rivals during the last years of Mr Djindjic's life.

Zoran Djindjic
Mr Djindjic is more popular now than when he was alive
The crowds in Belgrade cemetery were dominated mostly by members of Mr Djindjic's own Democratic Party.

Serbia-Montenegro President Svetozar Marovic also paid public tribute at his graveside.

He pledged that no-one could stop the progress towards European integration personified by Mr Djindjic.

As Serbia's first non-communist prime minister, Mr Djindjic authorised Mr Milosevic's handover to the UN war crimes tribunal and started a campaign against organised crime.

He was shot dead by a sniper in front of a government building on 12 March 2003.

The trial of 13 men accused of his murder began in December, but has been constantly interrupted by objections from defence lawyers.

The alleged assassin is in the dock but the suspected organiser - former special police commander Milorad Lukovic - is still on the run.

Disputed legacy

The BBC's Central Europe reporter Nick Thorpe says Mr Djindjic's political legacy is still disputed in Serbia.

His enemies say his administration was corrupt and linked to organised crime.

But his supporters say he put Serbia back on the road to Europe - a road that will be more difficult to travel without him.

Opinion polls show Mr Djindjic is more popular today than when he was alive.


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