BELGRADE Jan 14 Two former Serbian state
security agents were detained on Tuesday over the killing of
opposition newspaper publisher and journalist Slavko Curuvija
during the rule of strongman president Slobodan Milosevic in
1999, local media said.
The arrests continued a series of investigations, led by the
deputy prime minister, into politically-tinged, violent or
financial crimes as Serbia seeks to improve its democratic
credentials for eventual entryinto the European Union.
Belgrade's B92 television reported that the two detained
ex-security agents were taken to the capital's main police
station for further questioning. There was no immediate official
comment but a news conference was planned shortly.
Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Vucic, who also coordinates
Serbian security agencies, was once a firebrand of the
ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party and was Milosevic's
information minister at the time of Curuvija's killing.
Vucic was also considered the architect of a harsh
Information Law Milosevic's government used to crack down on
opposition and independent media. But Vucic has since rebranded
himself a reformer keen to help guide Serbia into the EU.
Critics have long held Milosevic's harsh security apparatus
and his inner circle responsible for the murder of Curuvija
outside his Belgrade flat on Orthodox Easter 1999 while Serbia
and NATO waged war over the southern province of Kosovo. But no
one was ever charged with the crime.
Milosevic fell to a popular uprising in 2000 and was
extradited the following year to The Hague for trial before the
international war crimes tribunal for former Yugoslavia. He died
in 2006 before his trial could be completed.
(Reporting by Ivana Sekularac; Editing by Aleksandar Vasovic
and Mark Heinrich)