Day: August 2, 2008

A Victim of the State

In the aftermath of the assassination in London of the British citizen Alexander Litvinenko, the claims that the British television presenter Jill Dando was in fact killed by a Serbian hitman begin to make more sense – particularly in view of yesterday’s acquittal of Barry George, and the upcoming war crimes trial of Radovan Karadzic at the Hague. In 2001 the Independent newspaper published an article about the Serbian connection to the case. Excerpt:

Michael Mansfield, QC, who is defending the man accused of her murder, Barry George, told the Old Bailey that there was evidence to suggest that Miss Dando, who was shot dead on the doorstep of her home in south-west London on 26 April 1999, had been a victim of state terrorism. He argued that Ms Dando may have become a target after she presented a television appeal for aid for Kosovan refugees and then days later Nato fired a cruise missile at a television station owned by a relative of Slobodan Milosevic, killing 17 people. Mr Mansfield read out an intelligence report received at the National Criminal Intelligence Service and passed to officers investigating Ms Dando’s shooting.

It stated: “Jill Dando was the subject of an execution by a Yugoslavian hitman. Intelligence sources suggest that as a result of the bombing of a TV station run by the daughters of Milosevic, a contract was put out on the head of the BBC, John Birt.

“As a result of him receiving threatening letters his security was stepped up – after this the target was changed to Jill Dando.”