This week in court

The trial of the people who were involved in the conspiracy to murder prime minister Zoran Djindić started badly, with multiple delays and not all suspects at hand, and continued fitfully, with numerous efforts to intimidate witnesses, court officials and those present. Now it is delayed again, but this did not occur before two important testimonies during the past week. Čedomir Jovanović came to testify about the conspiracy that took off in order to prevent the "Svedok" operation against organised crime, an appearance that ended in an exchange of insults between him and prime indictee Milorad Ulemek, after which Mrs Ulemek whacked him with a handbag. Then Vladimir Popović ("Beba") came to accuse the current government of protecting suspect, letting slip that conspirator Vladimir Milisavljević ("Vlada Budala," or "Vlada the fool," a nickname he is rumoured to have earned because alone among the criminals, he had completed a university degree) was in Vienna and that his location was known to Serbian authorities. Reports today would seem to confirm Mr Popović's claims.

Update: The reports on Vladimir Milisavljević would seem to be contradictory, after all. The embassy of SCG in Vienna confirms Mr Popović's claim that Milisavljević was sighted in Vienna, that this was reported to the embassy, and that the embassy fowarded the information to the Serbian interior ministry and security agency. But the Serbian interior ministry released a statement saying that the Austrian police found the sighting of Milisavljević to be a false alarm. The Austrian interior ministry, meanwhile, has no record of anything related to Milisavljević.

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