- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 26, 2003

BELGRADE, Serbia and Montenegro (AP) A suspect in the sniper slaying of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic has been arrested, the slain leader's successor said yesterday.
Prime Minister Zoran Zivkovic identified the suspect in custody as Zvezdan Jovanovic, deputy commander of an elite unit of police troops formed by ex-President Slobodan Milosevic that remains operational and has links to organized crime.
Mr. Zivkovic said police found a German-made sniper rifle suspected to be the weapon used in the slaying. The weapon was found buried in Belgrade.
Another man, identified as Sasa Pejakovic, was arrested on suspicion of aiding Mr. Jovanovic during the killing, he said.
Mr. Djindjic, Serbia's leading pro-Western politician, was killed by a sniper March 12 as he stepped out of an armored car in front of government headquarters in downtown Belgrade.
Authorities imposed a state of emergency and initiated a major hunt for leading crime figures and their associates in the judiciary, police and other state services said.
Dusan Maricic, the commander of the elite police unit known as the Unit for Special Operations, was fired, Mr. Zivkovic said.
A police official told Associated Press on the condition of anonymity that the unit still operational and based in the north of the republic would be disbanded.
"Some of them will be arrested, others dismissed or transferred to other police units," the official said of the unit members.
The sniper suspects had ties to an organized crime ring known as the Zemun Clan, which was accused of plotting and carrying out the slaying, Mr. Zivkovic said.
Mr. Jovanovic, 37, joined Serbia's paramilitaries who were dreaded during the 1990s wars in Croatia and Bosnia in 1991. The unit at that time was commanded by Zeljko Raznatovic, known as Arkan, who was slain in a Belgrade hotel in January 2000.

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