10 charged in killing of Serb warlord Arkan
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (July 18, 2000) - Ten people were charged Tuesday in the killing of Zeljko Raznatovic, Serbia's most prominent warlord and underworld figure, the public prosecutor's office announced.
Raznatovic, known as Arkan and facing U.N. war crimes tribunal indictments for alleged Balkan war atrocities, was shot dead in the lobby of Belgrade's Intercontinental Hotel on Jan. 15. Soon after, police arrested several suspects.
Prosecutors said Tuesday that four people have been directly charged with shooting Arkan, while six others face charges for allegedly assisting the killers. One of the alleged killers is still at large and will be tried in absentia, the prosecutor's statement said.
The statement's text, which was carried by state Tanjug news agency, offered no further details.
Arkan's killing was one in a recent series of attacks against prominent figures in Yugoslavia.
In February, Defense Minister Pavle Bulatovic was shot dead in a Belgrade restaurant. On May 31, Goran Zugic, the national security adviser to Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic, was gunned down in front of his home in Podgorica.
A month ago, Serbia's most prominent opposition leader, Vuk Draskovic, was slightly injured in the head after gunmen fired at his home in Montenegro, the other republic along with dominant Serbia in the Yugoslav federation.
Arkan's assassination triggered speculation that President Slobodan Milosevic's government may have wished to silence a potential witness to atrocities in the wars in Croatia and Bosnia. Arkan fought there as a ruthless paramilitary leader along with regular Serb government troops.
After his death, the U.N. war crimes tribunal in the Hague, Netherlands, expressed regret that he didn't get to stand trial or testify.