Djindjic plotter to be extradited
Croatia agrees to send to Serbia man convicted of role in assassinating prime minister.
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2010 19:48 GMT
Djindjic was fatally wounded by a gunshot in Belgrade on March 12, 2003 [AP]

A Croatian court has approved the extradition to Serbia of a man convicted of being one of the conspirators in the assassination of Zoran Djindjic, the former Serbian prime minister, in 2003.

The Zagreb court said that Sretko Kalinic could be sent to Serbia following the signature in June of an agreement allowing the extradition of organised crime and corruption suspects between the two countries.

Kalinic, who has both Croatian and Serbian citizenship, was sentenced in absentia in Belgrade in 2008 to 30 years in prison for his part in the murder of Djindjic.

Serbia requested the extradition of Kalinic, who had been in hiding since 2003, after he was captured following a shootout with a member of the Serbian mafia in June in Croatia.

"Kalinic can file a complaint against this decision in the next three days," Kresimir Devcic, a spokesman for the court, said.

"If he does so, the final decision will be taken by the supreme court."

EU accession

Djindjic was fatally wounded by a gunshot in Belgrade on March 12, 2003.

Last November, Serbia's top court rejected a final appeal and confirmed 40-year jail sentences for Milorad "Legija" Ulemek, the mastermind of Djindjic's assassination, and sniper Zvezdan Jovanovic.

Ten other suspects, including Kalinic, were given jail terms of up to 40 years for taking part in the attack.

The fight against organised crime and corruption is a major requirement from the European Union for any countries joining the bloc.

Croatia hopes to complete EU entry talks early next year, while Serbia applied for EU membership last year, but has not started accession talks yet.

Serbia and Croatia agreed to hand over suspects for investigations or trials, regardless of their citizenship, in an effort to boost the rule of law in the region.

If Kalinic is extradited, it would be the first such case covered by the June agreement.

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