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Serbia court names new presiding judge in Djindjic assassination trial

[JURIST] The Belgrade District Court [official website] announced Wednesday that a new presiding judge has been named in the trial of 13 suspects charged with the March 2003 assassination [JURIST report] of former Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic [BBC obituary; memorial website]. Judge Nata Mesarovic will fill the presiding judge position, vacated by Judge Nata Mesarovic last week without comment, when the trial resumes Thursday. Rumors have circulated in Serbia that the defense put pressure on Mesarovic, prompting his resignation. The trial can not extend to a fourth year, or the suspects will be released. AP has more.

The 13 alleged assassins reportedly had ties to former leader Slobodan Milosevic [JURIST news archive]. In May, one of the suspects, Zvezdan Jovanovic, claimed [JURIST report] he was impermissibly forced to sign a confession to Djindjic's murder.

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