Serb suspect held here for PM’s murder

The Serb government is expected to request, within the next few days, the extradition of a top suspect in the murder of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic. Dejan Milenkovic was arrested in northern Greece on Friday and is being held in Thessaloniki police headquarters pending the Serb extradition request. Milenkovic is one of 13 people on trial in Belgrade for the March 12 2003 murder of Djindic. He and six others are being tried in absentia. He is believed to have been a member of the so-called Zemun Clan, a gang that controlled drugs and prostitution rackets in Serbia and was allegedly behind the reformist prime minister’s assassination. Milenkovic was arrested in Thessaloniki after more than 15 months in hiding with an international arrest warrant against him. The city’s police chief, Costas Tzekis, said Milenkovic was tracked down after police tailed his wife, who visited Greece from June 9-21. The Greeks then tailed Milenkovic for nearly a month before arresting him. Milenkovic, who was known as «Bugsy» in the Serb underworld, was unarmed when he was arrested and was not carrying any identity documents. But Tzekis said Milenkovic was carrying a large amount of money. Prosecutor Spyridoula Stavraki charged Milenkovic with entering the country illegally. He can be held for up to 50 days while the extradition process is completed. Serbia-Montenegro’s Human Rights Minister Rasim Ljajic, whose office deals with extradition demands, told the Beta news agency that extradition would begin once Interpol officially informed the government of Milenkovic’s arrest, The Associated Press reported. Ljajic reportedly said he expects this today, but added that the Greek authorities will have to honor any appeal filed by Milenkovic.