Ćuruvija case probe to be complete in one month

BELGRADE -- Veran Matić expects an additional probe that is part of the investigation into the murder of Slavko Ćuruvija be completed in one month.

Slavko Ćuruvija (AP/Peđa Milosavljević, file)
Slavko Ćuruvija (AP/Peđa Milosavljević, file)

Matić, who heads the Serbian government's commission to investigate unsolved murders of journalists, spoke during the presentation of an electronic database documenting attacks on journalists, available at www.bazenuns.rs.

He noted that the indictment raised in June in case of the 1999 murder of the publisher and journalist was quickly sent back to the Prosecutor's Office for Organized Crime in order to supplement the investigation.

"We have a situation in which an indictment has not been confirmed yet. It was sent back for additional work and within one month at the latest it will be completed," said Matić, and explained that the work included questioning of several more witnesses and expert analyses.

He pointed out that it was very important that the indictment clearly stated the murder was committed to preserve political power and limit media freedoms.

"It is accented in the indictment that the victim was director and editor in chief of the Dnevni Telegraf (daily) and the weekly Evropljanin, and statements and criticism of the holders of political power and the ability to influence public opinion were given as the reason (for the murder)," said Matić.

The first indictment against four suspects, former members of the state security service, was issued in early June this year, but the decision of the Special Court prosecutor sent it back with specific orders to supplement the investigation.

Additional witness testimonies began in August, but have been on hold for the past ten days due to an ongoing strike of lawyers.