MADRID — Spanish police said Friday they have arrested three men, including one who had been a fugitive for five years after being convicted in the 2003 assassination of Serbia's prime minister.
A National Police official said agents arrested Vladimir Milisavljevic and Luka Bojovic in a restaurant Thursday in the eastern coastal city of Valencia. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with police rules.
He said the agents also arrested a third man, Sinisa Petric, but gave no further details on that.
Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic was slain by a sniper in front of government headquarters in Belgrade in March 2003.
In 2007, Milisavljevic was convicted and sentenced in absentia in Serbia to 35 years for his involvement in the assassination and to another 40 years for other crimes. He had been on the run since the slaying.
Milisavljevic was one of a dozen former gang members and paramilitaries sentenced for their roles in the assassination. The hitman and the mastermind got 40 years in prison.
Spanish police said Bojovic is wanted for 20 murders in Serbia, the Netherlands and Spain.
However, Maja Kovacevic, a judge and spokeswoman for Serbia's Court for Organized Crime, which handles high-profile cases, said Friday that Bojovic is not wanted for the assassination but is wanted for three other unrelated killings.
Kovacevic told The Associated Press the indictment against Bojovic alleges that he took over and organized the fugitive members of the gang that killed Djindjic — the Zemun Clan — who managed to flee a police sweep that followed the assassination in March 2003.
The Spanish police official said all three of those arrested in Spain were members of the Serbian paramilitary group known as "Arkan's Tigers." The group was known for sowing terror during wars in the Balkans in the 1990s.
Djindjic had led a popular uprising that toppled President Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. He became Serbia's prime minister in 2001, extraditing Milosevic to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in the Netherlands, where the former leader died of a heart attack in 2006.