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Suspect In Djindjic Assassination Surrenders

3 May 2001 -- Serbian police say the suspected mastermind of last year's assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic has surrendered to authorities in Belgrade.

Serbian public-security chief Miroslav Milosevic said at a news conference in Belgrade last night that "tonight, around 21:00 local time, Milorad Lukovic [aka] Legija, accused of the assassination of Zoran Djindjic, has surrendered himself to members of the Serbian police." Milosevic added that "Lukovic is now in custody and further investigations are taking place."

Interior Minister Dragan Jocic said Lukovic gave himself up outside his home in Belgrade.

Lukovic had been on the run from authorities since Djindjic, a pro-Western reformist, was gunned down by a sniper outside government offices in Belgrade on 12 March 2003.

Lukovic has been on trial in absentia since December, along with other paramilitary and gang figures suspected of involvement in the assassination.

Lukovic, said to be in his late 30s, served in the French Foreign Legion and later led a Serbian paramilitary unit in the wars of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. He also led an elite Serbian police unit and is suspected of having led a criminal gang called the "Zemun clan."