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Serbian warlord beats up photographer as police chief watches

May 19, 1997

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) _ A man suspected of war crimes and bank robbery beat up a news photographer while Serbia’s chief of secret police watched, the victim charged Monday.

Predrag Mitic of the Dnevni Telegraf newspaper said he was attacked Sunday while photographing Zeljko Raznatovic, known as Arkan. Raznatovic and secret police chief Jovica Stanicic were attending a memorial for an assassinated senior police official.

Raznatovic, whose paramilitary troops are suspected of committing numerous atrocities in Croatia and Bosnia, attended the funeral in April of senior police official Radovan Stojicic, together with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. Their joint appearance buttressed suspicions of links between Serbia’s underworld and its political leadership.

Mitic said Raznatovic slapped him on the head and took his film out of the camera, although he was taking photographs 30 yards from Stojicic’s grave.

``The worst thing about it is that it all happened in front of the chief of Serbian police,″ said Mitic, who wasn’t seriously hurt.

Mitic said Raznatovic warned against publishing any photos of him.

Reputedly one of Serbia’s richest men, Raznatovic is wanted for bank robberies in Western Europe in the 1970s and 1980s. He also is believed to have amassed wealth from war profiteering. Serbian authorities have refused to honor the warrants.

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