YUGOSLAV/JOURNALIST

April 11, 1999

Voice of America April 11 1999

INTRO: A PROMINENT SERBIAN NEWSPAPER EDITOR, ONE OF THE MOST OUTSPOKEN CRITICS OF YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC, WAS SHOT DEAD SUNDAY OUTSIDE HIS BELGRADE APARTMENT. HIS MURDER HAS SENT SHOCK WAVES THROUGH THE FEW MEMBERS OF THE SERBIAN OPPOSITION WHO HAVE NOT LENT THEIR SUPPORT TO THE GOVERNMENT DURING NATO’S BOMBING CAMPAIGN. FROM BELGRADE, GUY DINMORE REPORTS.

TEXT: SLAVKO CURUVIJA, A NEWSPAPER EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR WELL KNOWN FOR HIS OUTSPOKEN ATTACKS ON THE GOVERNMENT OF PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC, WAS SHOT DEAD BY TWO MEN IN BROAD DAYLIGHT OUTSIDE HIS HOME IN CENTRAL BELGRADE.

HIS COMPANION, BRANKA PRVA, WAS WITH MR CERUVIJA AND SHE TOLD REPORTERS SHE HEARD MUFFLED SHOTS FROM PISTOLS WITH SILENCERS. AS HER FRIEND FELL TO THE GROUND, SHE SAW TWO YOUNG MEN WITH GUNS. ONE HIT HER WITH HIS PISTOL AND THE OTHER PUMPED MORE BULLETS INTO THE BACK AND HEAD OF MR. CERUVIJA.

MRS PRVA COULD NOT IDENTIFY THE ATTACKERS AND SAID SHE DID NOT KNOW THEIR MOTIVE. BUT HIS MURDER, ON ORTHODOX EASTER SUNDAY, HAS SHOCKED THE FEW MEMBERS OF THE SERBIAN OPPOSITION AND INDEPENDENT JOURNALISTS WHO HAVE REMAINED SILENT SINCE NATO LAUNCHED ITS AIR OFFENSIVE AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA OVER TWO WEEKS AGO.

FRIENDS RECALLED THAT STATE MEDIA LAST WEEK ATTACKED MR CURUVIJA BY NAME, ACCUSING HIM OF BEING HAPPY NOW THAT NATO WAS BOMBING HIS COUNTRY.

HIS TWO MAIN PUBLICATIONS, THE DAILY TELEGRAPH AND A MAGAZINE, THE EUROPEAN, WERE BOTH HEAVILY FINED BY BELGRADE COURTS LAST YEAR FOR ARTICLES CRITICAL OF MR MILOSEVIC AND HIS GOVERNMENT. ONE ISSUE DREW COMPARISONS WITH THE LAST DAYS OF THE ROMANIAN PRESIDENT NICOLAE CEAUSESCU WHO WAS EXECUTED BY HIS OWN SECURITY FORCES IN 1989.

IN A SEPARATE DEVELOPMENT, STEVE PRATT, AN AUSTRALIAN AID WORKER DETAINED ON MARCH 31ST WHILE TRYING TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY, UNEXPECTEDLY APPEARED ON STATE TELEVISION SUNDAY. HE SAID HE HAD ABUSED HIS POSITION AS HEAD OF THE CHARITY CARE AND HAD GATHERED INTELLIGENCE IN KOSOVO PROVINCE ON THE EFFECTS OF NATO AIR RAIDS. MR PRATT, A FORMER MAJOR IN THE AUSTRALIAN ARMY, EXPRESSED REGRET FOR HIS ACTIONS AND SAID HE HAD ALWAYS BEEN OPPOSED TO NATO’S AIR CAMPAIGN. STATE TELEVISION DID NOT SAY WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO MR PRATT OR TO PETER WALLACE, ANOTHER AUSTRALIAN AID WORKER WHO IS ALSO IN DETENTION. (SIGNED)
NEB/GD/ENE/WFR
11-Apr-99 4:42 PM EDT (2042 UTC)
NNNN
Source: Voice of America


Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: