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Srbija 2020

Hugh Griffiths

Killing & remembering Zoran Djindjic: a loose tobacco conspiracy

Wednesday will mark the fourth anniversary of the reported attempt to kill Serbian prime minister Zoran Djindjic on the road to Surcin airport. The failure of the authorities to properly detain and question the driver of the truck – Dejan “Bugsy” Milenkovic – was symptomatic of a string of – and I use the term loosely here – intelligence failures - leading up to the actual murder on 12 March 2003. Bugsy’s premature release from custody gave ammunition to people close to – and I use the term loosely here – intelligence services – who, after the Djindjic murder busied themselves by alleging the other faction did it. 

International organised crime meets Bosnian lawyer joke

To help combat the scourge of organised crime in places like Belgrade and Sarajevo, foreign governments have invested millions in the construction of spanking new courthouses to assist with something called “the rule of law”.  In Bosnia & Herzegovina, they’ve gone a step further. They sent the lucky people there foreign lawyers, to work in the Bosnian State Court and prosecute corrupt oligarchs and war criminal mafiosi. At least, that was the plan. 

Unfortunately, sometimes the international organised crime prosecutors didn’t actually have much, if any, experience of prosecuting organised criminals before getting the job.

Knifing a sleeping Balkan beauty

One thing that many of the new states of south eastern Europe seem to share is an abundance of visiting and semi-permanent foreign diplomats who periodically pop up in the media to lecture local citizens on the benefits of embracing European Union norms, such as democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

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