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Serbs Convicted Of Ex-President's Murder

18 July 2005 -- A Serbian court today convicted the head of ex-President Slobodan Milosevic's secret police, Radomir Markovic, and six of his former colleagues of the murder of communist-era Serbian President Ivan Stambolic.

The seven officers were convicted of taking part in Stambolic's assassination in August 2000.

The seven were also found guilty of the attempted murder earlier the same year of opposition leader Vuk Draskovic, who is now the country's foreign minister.

The men who carried out Stambolic's killing were sentenced to between 15 and 40 years in prison each.

Markovic, who as head of the secret police helped plan and cover up the crime, received a 15-year sentence.

Milorad Ulemek, better known as "Legija," who commanded the special assassins' unit, received a prison sentence of 40 years.

Ulemek is also accused of masterminding the assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic in March 2003. Ulemek's trial over his alleged role in that murder is ongoing.