LYON, France – INTERPOL today welcomes the conclusion of the trial against those charged with the 2003 assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic. Of the 12 men convicted, five remain the subject of INTERPOL Red Notices.
Among the convicted defendants was former policeman Milorad ‘Legija’ Ulemek, who, during the four years preceding the murder of Zoran Djindjic, had travelled to Switzerland, Austria, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Singapore and Croatia using a fraudulent passport that had been one of a batch of blank passports stolen from the Croatian Consulate in Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina) in 1999.
Ulemek, along with Zvezdan Jovanovic, was charged with being the ringleader of the assassination plot carried out on 12 March 2003, when Mr Djindjic was fatally shot by a sniper while getting out of his official car outside government buildings in Belgrade.
'While the exact details of the preparation of Zoran Djindjic’s murder will never be known, what is clear is that one of the convicted ringleaders in the planning of his murder was able to travel freely across borders despite using a stolen passport,' said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.
'It is exactly this kind of case which reinforces INTERPOL’s strong belief that the sharing of information on stolen and lost passports, especially blank documents, should be a priority for each and every country.
'While our Stolen and Lost Travel Document database was only in its early development in 2003, it now contains details of nearly 15 million travel documents from 124 countries, any one of which could be the key in helping prevent a terrorist attack or other criminal activity.
'INTERPOL has now developed the technical solutions which can enable any country to give each and every one of its law enforcement officials direct, real-time access to this database, enabling officers to verify instantly if a document is stolen.
'Countries such as Switzerland, France and Spain where automatic access is already in place are seeing significant results and are setting new international standards for border protection.'
Five of the men tried and convicted in absentia by the Belgrade Special Court for Organised Crime still remain subjects of INTERPOL Red Notices and feature on a special poster produced and circulated to each of the organization’s 186 member countries.
Specialist officers in INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support Unit continue to liaise with and assist member countries in the investigation of various leads for the following individuals wanted by Serbian authorities; Milan Jurisic, Sretko Kalinic, Ninoslav Konstantinovic, Vladimir Milisavljevic and Milos Simovic.