Milanovic begins 10-year sentence

BUDAPEST — Former Radio Television Serbia honcho Dragoljub Milanovic is starting a 10-year prison sentence for crimes against public safety after the Serbian Supreme Court upheld the conviction on Dec. 30.

Milanovic was top exec for RTS during the 78-day NATO air war against Yugoslavia between March and June 1999, and was charged with the deaths of 16 television employees killed when Alliance ordnance destroyed a central Belgrade RTS studio.

NATO attacked Serbia’s state TV facility because it considered it a propaganda outlet of the regime of then-Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic that was bolstering Serbia’s war effort.

It is believed that Milanovic, the Milosevic administration’s chief propagandist, knew the attack was planned and intentionally ordered employees to man the studio to create a body count and gruesome TV images that RTS could use to foster support for the regime.

Milanovic survived as RTS chief until Oct. 5, 2000, when the street revolt that toppled the Milosevic government spread into his studios.

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