|Born||15 March 1965 or 1968
Belgrade, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia
|Service/branch||JSO (Special Operations Unit)|
|Years of service||1984–2002|
|Commands held||Head of the Special Operations Unit|
Milorad "Legija" Ulemek (Serbian: Милорад "Легија" Улемек), also known as Milorad Luković (Милорад Луковић) (born on 15 March 1965 or 1968 in Belgrade, Serbia, Yugoslavia) is a former commander of the Serbian secret police special unit, the Red Berets (JSO) and a former paramilitary commander, who was convicted of the assassinations of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić and former Serbian President Ivan Stambolić. He was also convicted of being behind the attempted murder of Serbian opposition leader Vuk Drašković.
Early and Military history
After a botched robbery in 1985, Ulemek fled to France and on 10 April 1986 he joined the French Foreign Legion where he stayed for 6 years in the 2 REP, serving in Chad, French Guyana and Yugoslavia. He was given the nom de guerre "Legion" (Legija) because of his military career in the Legion.
During his service and as sergeant, he did a tour in Yugoslavia as translator for the French Army. On his return, he did not come back from his leave and was considered as deserter from the French Foreign Legion and went back in the Yugoslav where the Wars erupted in 1992. He joined the Serb Volunteer Guard under the control of Serbian warlord Arkan. Ulemek became one of Arkan's closest friends and a commander of the unit. He commanded the "Super Tigrovi" (Super Tigers) special unit which operated in eastern Slavonia.
The unit was disbanded in April 1996, and all of its members were ordered to join the Yugoslav Army. However, in the same year the JSO was formed, merging together what was once the Serb Volunteer Guard with the wartime "Red Berets". Jovica Stanišić, head of the State Security Service asked Ulemek to join the unit. In 1999, Ulemek became the leader of the "Red Berets", and became the official commander of "JSO SDB Serbia" in April 2001.
Đinđić's assassination was described by Presiding Judge Nata Mesarović as "a political murder, a criminal act aimed against the state", in which police officers and the Mafia had joined hands to kill Đinđić and gain political power.
The Đinđić murder trial was the first organised crime trial in Serbia. There were widespread threats to the trial chamber, as well as witness intimidation and the murder of a witness. The first trial chamber president, Marko Kljajević, left the process in August 2005. One of the most controversial moments of the trial was Ulemek's surrender in May 2004, after he claimed that he had been hiding in his house for nearly 14 months.
He married Maja Luković in 1994, in the Hotel Majestic (Mažestik) in Belgrade. He took the surname of his wife.
He was sentenced to 120 years in prison for his crimes. In prison, he has written several novels: "The Iron Trench", "The Legionnaire", "The Boys from Brazil", "The Judas: A Novel about Friendship" , "Pack of Wolves" , "The End", "The Magician" and "The Secret of my Heart". His favorite song is Fire at Will of Rammstein.
- His birthyear in some sources are 1968.Gvozdeni rov
- "Djindjic's killers convicted, sentenced after 3½-year trial" by Igor Jovanovic, Southeast European Times, 24 May 2007, accessed 21 January 2011
- Encyclopedia of war crimes and genocide, page 470: Milorad Ulemek