POLICE REPORT: ARKAN GOT JILL KILLED; Yugoslav hitman blamed.
A TOP-secret police intelligence report said Jill Dando was murdered by a Yugoslav hitman, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.
The shooting was said to be in retaliation for the Nato bombing of a TV station in Belgrade during the Kosovo war. Seventeen people were killed, three days before BBC presenter Jill died.
The pro-Serb station had been run by the daughters of ex-president Slobodan Milosevic. Jill's killing was ordered by his warlord sidekick Arkan, the report claimed.
Yesterday Michael Mansfield QC - defending Barry George, the man accused of murdering Jill - referred to a series of calls to the BBC following the Fulham killing on April 26, 1999.
One caller, who rang the day after, said: "Your Government, and in particular Prime Minister Blair, murdered and butchered 17 innocent young people who worked, like make-up artists, electrical engineers...
"He butchered, we butcher back. The first one you had yesterday. The next one will be Tony Hall."
Mr Hall was BBC head of news and current affairs at the time and tipped to take over from then director general John Birt.
Mr Birt had been mentioned in the police's National Criminal Intelligence Service report as the original revenge target.
It said his security had been stepped up as a result of previous threatening letters and the target was switched to Dando.
The report added: "The hit was ordered by Arkan, the leader of the Tigers (a killer gang). The gunman was a Yugoslav and arrived in the UK from Germany via France."
Det Chief Insp Hamish Campbell, who led the Dando murder probe, told the court yesterday that he never took seriously the Serb revenge claim.
He said: "Yugoslav responsibility wasn't a realistic motive. It's too simple to suggest the Serbs were responsible."
Mr Mansfield asked him about the calls to the BBC. The Mirror also received calls threatening personalities at the BBC, he said.
Mr Campbell said: "I don't believe they are related. You are going down the wrong road."
He added that Serb-style murders were characterised by masked men firing multiple shots. Jill was killed by a single shot to the head on her doorstep.
Mr Campbell said one of the reasons he discounted the Serb theory was there had been no public admission of responsibility by any terror group.
Arkan, a terrorist and racketeer whose real name is Zeljko Raznatovic, was murdered in Belgrade last year, possibly by agents of Milosevic.
At the Old Bailey, Barry George, 41, denies Jill's murder. The trial continues.
VICTIM: Theory put Jill on hitlist; TERRORIST: Arkan, self-styled leader of the killer Tigers gang; WRECKED: The Belgrade TV station bombed by Nato in 1999
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Jun 9, 2001|
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