Zvezdan Jovanović

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Zvezdan Jovanović
Born (1965-07-19) 19 July 1965 (age 51)
Breznica, near Peć, SFR Yugoslavia
Nationality Serbian
Occupation Paramilitary, criminal

Zvezdan Jovanović (Serbian Cyrillic: Звездан Јовановић; born 19 July 1965), also known as "Zmija" ("Snake") is a Serbian former paramilitary, JSO Commander and convicted criminal who is best known for having assassinated Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić on 12 March 2003 in Belgrade (see Assassination of Zoran Đinđić).

Early life[edit]

Jovanović was born in the village of Breznica in Metohija, Kosovo, in 1965. He had been a locksmith until joining the Serbian Volunteer Guard led by Željko Ražnatović in 1991. Jovanović had been a member of the feared anti-terrorist unit Red Berets and held the police rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He also participated in the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s, particularly in operations in Kosovo. He was awarded the Medal Of Bravery after the Yugoslav Wars ended for being a participant in all engagements for the Serbian Forces. [1]

Assassination of Zoran Đinđić[edit]

Jovanović was arrested on the charges of being responsible for the assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić in March 2003. He was convicted of the murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison. The evidence connected him to the infamous Zemun Clan of Serbia's organized crime network, and to its alleged leader, Milorad Ulemek.[citation needed]

He was silent during most of his trial but, allegedly, once confessed to the murder of Đinđić and said in a police report that he feels no remorse for killing him. Due to the fact he was interrogated and beaten, had to falsely confess because of the threat upon his family[2][3][4]

In May 2008, then ICTY-imprisoned Serbian Radical Party leader Vojislav Šešelj compared Jovanović with the assassin of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, saying “he would enjoy the same fame and glory that Gavrilo Princip has in Serbian history”.[5]


  1. ^ Đinđić murder suspect arrested, bbc.co.uk; accessed 20 January 2016.
  2. ^ Marathon Djindjic trial
  3. ^ Group Named in Plot on Serbia Chief, globalpolicy.org; accessed 20 January 2016.
  4. ^ BBC NEWS: "Djindjic 'sniper' remains silent", bbc.co.uk; accessed 20 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Šešelj: Đinđić killer merits same glory as Princip" Archived 26 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine., B92, 21 May 2008