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Justice Needed for the Murder of Prime Minister Zoran Djindic

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

JUSTICE NEEDED FOR THE MURDER OF PRIME MINISTER ZORAN DJINDIC

Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, this morning's news of the assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindic is deeply saddening.

Prime Minister Djindic was a man of courage and determination—whether tackling economic and political reforms or securing the extradition of war criminal Slobodan Milosevic to The Hague. He understood and accepted the risks of leadership in a transitional Serbia, and bravely served his compatriots.

Prime Minister Djindic rightly believed that Serbia's future rests with the rule of law, free markets, and a democratic political system. Threats against his life—including an assassination attempt only last month—underscored that his reform agenda directly challenging entrenched segments of Serbian society, including organized crime and the cronies of Slobodan Milosevic who continue to serve in the government and military.

Prime Minister Djindic scoffed at the notion that his untimely demise would derail Serbia's reform efforts. After last month's incident, he said, "If someone thinks the law and reforms can be stopped by eliminating me, then that is a huge delusion."

Those who share the Prime Minister's vision of peace and prosperity for Serbia cannot—and must not—give up their struggle. There is no better way to honor Zoran Djindic than to redouble efforts to implement reforms and to strengthen the rule of law.

During this uncertain time, the champions of reform and democracy in Serbia should know that the U.S. Congress continues to stand by their side; crime bosses and war criminals should know that the United States is committed to aiding reformers in their defeat.

We will continue to closely follow developments in Serbia and throughout the region—and will remain vigilant in demanding justice for the murder of Zoran Djindic.

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