A Serbian court on Tuesday cleared Marko Milosevic, son of the late war crimes convict Slobodan Milosevic, of assault charges relating to beatings and threats against political opponents.
The court in Milosevic's hometown of Pozarevac based the ruling on lack of evidence and said the statute of limitations had expired on the charges, the state Tanjug news agency reported.
"The case has become obsolete and there was no intention to cause severe injuries," said Judge Gordana Vidojkovic.
Marko Milosevic had been charged with violent behaviour, beatings and causing severe bodily harm to members of the opposition movement Otpor in 2000.
"The court decision hurt more than the beatings," Radenko Lukovic, who suffered serious injuries, told national broadcaster RTS.
The trial was held in absentia as the accused lives with his mother, Mira Markovic, in Russia where they were granted political asylum. They are both wanted in Serbia for involvement in organised crime.
The prosecutor's office has the right to appeal within 15 days and the party said it will fight the ruling.
Otpor said the decision was a result of negotiations between Serbia's political parties to form a coalition government after inconclusive May 11 elections, which have made the Socialists, founded by the late Milosevic, into the powerbrokers.
Slobodan Milosevic led Serbia through a decade of wars and was convicted of war crimes. The pro-European Union coalition won most seats in parliament but will need the Socialist Party's support to form a government.
"The Socialist Party demanded a halt to the prosecution of the Milosevic family, in exchange for joining a coalition," Otpor member Momcilo Veljkovic told Reuters.
The Socialists were not available for comment.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Haziran 2008, 09:01