Darko Saric sentenced to 15 years in prison: Pablo Escobar of Balkans (PHOTOS)
The public has estimated that this process is a trial of the century
The biggest Serbian, and Balkan drug lord, Darko Saric, was found guilty. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. After four years this trial is finally over. The judge Sinisa Petrovic found Saric guilty.
The judge Petrovic added that the time spent in detention, from March 17, 2014, will be counted as well, and that the three-member criminal court passed the decision unanimously.
Rodoljub Radulovic, aka Misa Banana, who was Saric's accomplice, was sentenced to 11 years in prison in absentia. To recall, he is on the run.
The court has yet to confirm the verdict, but Saric could be released by 2029.
According to the first verdict, which was abolished by the Appellate court, Saric was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
To recall, in the closing speech before the verdict, the prosecution asked the maximum prison sentence of 40 years for Pljevljak, while the defense and the defendants asked to be released.
FILE: HE WAS SENTENCED AS A JUVENILE
Darko Saric was born on October 21, 1970. He was sentenced six times for various criminal acts - endangering safety at work, destruction of appliances in mines or other construction companies, destruction of business and residential premises, embezzlement and unauthorized possession of weapons and explosive materials.
He was first convicted as a minor in 1988 when he was given the educational measure of enhanced supervision. The next time he was sentenced in 1992 to a suspended sentence, the third time in 1994 to four years in prison. It seems that he did not serve this sentence until the end since he was sentenced to four months in prison again in 1996. Two years later, on 3 September 1998, he was sentenced to two months 'imprisonment, and after three months, on 31 December of the same year, he was sentenced to three months' imprisonment.
CHRONOLOGY OF DARKO'S BUSINESS WITH DRUG CARTEL
2000 - The monitoring of Saric's business in Serbia begins
2004 - Darko becomes an important player in the European underworld
2009 - First appearance in the media, when the Uruguay police seized 2.8 tonnes of cocaine
2009 - The American DEA becomes involved in the investigation, the most famous world police structure dealing with the fight against drug trafficking
2010 - The Prosecutor's Office for Organized Crime of Serbia has filed a new indictment against Saric's group for smuggling cocaine. The same year, a new indictment was filed against him for money laundering of 20 million euros, which he acquired by drug trafficking
2014 - Darko Saric was arrested
The head of drug mafia appeared in the media for the first time in October 2009, when the agencies reported that the Uruguay police seized 2.8 tonnes of coke on the yacht "Maui", under the British flag, in the harbor Santiago Vazquez, 25 km away from Montevideo.
The people were arrested, and the lead took them to the drug lord from Plevlja. The shipment with drugs was intercepted within the joint action "Balkan warrior", of the American agency DEA, Serbian BIA, and the Uruguay police.
At the same time, the Belgrade police arrested the members of Saric group who were in Serbia. Two months later, there was an international warrant for Saric, but too late - the man from Plevlja left Montenegro a few days earlier and he disappeared.
It was also revealed that, after the indictment was filed, at least 15 countries submitted information to Serbia on the leader of the largest narco-clan in this part of Europe. It was said that Saric leads jobs in at least five countries: except Serbia and Montenegro, even in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland. Darko Saric becomes a planetary known criminal over the night.
Surrender, not the arrest, happened unconditionally: the only thing Saric was was to first land at Podgorica airport before going to Belgrade because he wanted to meet with his wife.
The surrender was agreed by one of Saric's lawyers, who contacted the government of Serbia one month before. The agreement based on the fact that it would be better if he surrendered without any unnecessary blood which would be spilled.
Although the information about his location was hidden in order not to endanger the further investigation, the surrender was a cause for various speculations what did he ask in exchange for his freedom.
Trials soon followed, and what a trials they were. Tens of kilometers of documents, hours of surveillance, hearing of witnesses, millions of euros and hundreds of kilos of drugs.
The public has estimated that this process is a trial of the century. The indictment presented by the Prosecution was based on the data from eavesdropped conversations, codes from the group and numerous associates. The Defense, however, has been aiming for those evidence from the start: the tapped lines, which were illegal, the codes are marked as unintelligible, and the associates - especially Nebojsa Joksovic (Saric's close associate and a childhood friend) - that he said lies for the money.
The trial for laundering of 20 million euros lasted eight years.
The trial started from the beginning this year in front of the entirely new board.
The third procedure against Saric - forgery of Croatian passport - was almost not serious. The charges were outdated, although the Third Basic Prosecutor's Office in Belgrade had all the evidence of a criminal offense, due to the inexcusable nature of the Croatian judiciary (which initially opened the investigation), but also the skills of Saric's lawyers, who managed to delay the procedure several dozens of times.
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