Prominent Serbian tycoon shot outside Belgrade home: official

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 14, 2014 1:15 PM

BELGRADE (Reuters) - One of Serbia's most prominent business tycoons was shot and wounded outside his home in an upscale Belgrade neighborhood on Friday, a government official told Reuters.

The official, who declined to be named, said 53-year-old Milan Beko had been shot twice and was in hospital in serious condition.

"He is undergoing surgery and the investigation is ongoing," the official said. "We can assume he had many enemies, but so far police has nothing conclusive that might indicate who was responsible."

For Serbs, the shooting will recall the dark days of assassination and score-settling on the streets of Belgrade in the 1990s, when Serbia was run by late strongman Slobodan Milosevic and socialist Yugoslavia was falling apart.

Beko made his fortune during a period of privatisation in the 1990s and had various business interests. He served as Minister for Ownership Transformation -- which oversaw privatisation -- in the late 1990s and was seen as close to Milosevic and his wife, Mira Markovic.

Beko was questioned by police last year in connection with a government investigation into a deal to privatize Belgrade's Danube commercial port. He denied any wrongdoing.

(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Matt Robinson and Sonya Hepinstall)