SERBS PICK UP THE USUAL SUSPECTS
: Communist hardliners turned radical nationalist paramilitaries turned Mafia gang members. Also quite likely is that these gangsters are fall guys for Milosevic loyalists still within the Serbian military and intelligence apparatus and that the assassination is actually a behind the scenes coup to put anti-western nationalists back into power under the pretext of restoring security.
Serb Cops Nab 40 Linked to Assassination
By KATARINA KRATOVAC
BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) -
Police arrested 40 suspects Thursday in the assassination of Serbia's prime minister, a pro-Western leader who made enemies by pushing for the arrest of mobsters and war crimes suspects.
Zoran Djindjic, 50, was shot by two sniper bullets in downtown Belgrade as he stepped out of his armored car on Wednesday - the same day the government planned to issue arrest warrants for members of the organized crime group Zemun Clan.
The group immediately was blamed for the killing, and those arrested were "either directly or indirectly" linked with the Zemun Clan, Belgrade police chief Milan Obradovic said.
Still at large, however, were the prime suspects - including clan leader Milorad Lukovic, a former paramilitary leader with close ties to former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.
Djindjic's assassination has renewed concern that Milosevic, on trial for war crimes, could still wield influence from his jail cell at the U.N. tribunal in the Netherlands through his proxies in Serbia.
One of the main problems with post-Communist regimes is that the former Soviet bloc states, East Germany being an exception, have generally not treated the former torturers, assassins and thugs of the old secret police organizations or their culpable bossess in the Communist Party apparat as criminals. Left free to roam and unpunished for their actions - sometimes even collecting state pensions - these individuals gravitate to the only activity for which they have suitable skills - organized crime. Let's not make a similar mistake with the Baathist thugs in Iraq.