October 23, 2008, in Zagreb, Croatia
Franjic, marketing director of the Zagreb-based political weekly Nacional, and Ivo Pukanic, the owner and editorial director, were killed when a bomb placed under the editor's car exploded outside the paper's offices, according to press reports and CPJ sources. Local press reports said Pukanic and Franjic were close to the car when the blast took place. Nacional often exposed corruption, organized crime, and human rights abuses, local sources told CPJ.
Croatian authorities moved swiftly to pursue the killers. On October 24, The Associated Press quoted Prime Minister Ivo Sanader as saying that authorities "will fight organized crime or terrorism--whatever is behind this murder--to its very end." On November 1, Croatian police announced that they had charged five suspects in connection with the murder.
In addition, police spokesman Krunoslav Borovec said investigators were working with Bosnian authorities to track down the suspect whom they believe planted the bomb. Local press reports identified the suspect as Zeljko Milovanovic, a Bosnian Serb and former member of a Serbian paramilitary group called the Red Berets. He held both Croatian and Bosnian passports, according to the independent Serbian broadcaster B92. According to Reuters, Bosnian police raided Milovanovic's house in the northern Bosnian town of Doboj on October 31, but he was not at home.
Media Support Worker: In 2003, CPJ began documenting the deaths of vital media employees such as translators, drivers, fixers, and administrative workers.
- Attacks on the Press 2009: Croatia, February 16, 2010
- Eight charged in Croatia murders, October 27, 2009
- Attacks on the Press in 2008: Europe and Central Asia Developments, February 10, 2009
- Authorities charge five in car-bombing deaths , November 3, 2008
- Press freedom in the news 10/24/08, October 24, 2008