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Tuesday, October 5, 1999 Published at 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK

World: Europe

Draskovic attends crash victim's funeral

Vuk Draskovic with his grieving relatives at the funeral

Hundreds of people have attended the funeral of an opposition official who died in a car accident which opposition leader Vuk Draskovic says was meant to kill him.

Mr Draskovic spoke at the funeral of his brother-in-law Veselin Boskovic - a senior official in his Serbian Renewal Movement - who died in the crash on Sunday along with three official party officials.

Mr Draskovic was the only person to survive the crash.

Addressing the coffin of Boskovic, a visibly shaken Mr Draskovic said: "The killer wanted to kill me but he killed you."

"My brother, when you get to God please do something so that the death-makers leave Serbia," said Mr Draskovic.

[ image: Four members of Mr Draskovic's entourage were killed in the crash]
Four members of Mr Draskovic's entourage were killed in the crash
He also made a veiled attack on the Serbian leadership.

"Let them be damned, the devils who have built their happiness on other people's misery for 10 years," Mr Draskovic said.

A lorry hit two cars carrying Mr Draskovic's entourage near the town of Lazarevac, some 40km (25 miles) south west of the Serbian capital, Belgrade.

The lorry ploughed into the first car which was carrying Mr Draskovic's bodyguards, and then into the second car, in which he was travelling.

[ image: Wreckage was strewn around the area]
Wreckage was strewn around the area
Mr Draskovic's wife Danica was travelling in a third car and was not injured.

Mr Draskovic said that it had been "a clear assassination attempt against me".

"Suddenly without any reason ... when it was about five metres away, a truck swerved straight in front if us. I am convinced it was to try to kill me," he said.

Report inconclusive

A report by an investigating judge said simply that "a truck, for reasons unknown, crossed on to the other side of the road and caused the accident".

It was still unconfirmed whether the driver, who went missing after the crash, had been traced.

Mr Draskovic's lawyer Borivoje Borovic was quoted as saying that the road was straight at the point where the accident occurred, and not slippery, and that visibility had been good.

[ image: Shocked supporters at the SPO headquarters in Belgrade]
Shocked supporters at the SPO headquarters in Belgrade
The Belgrade private daily Glas Javnosti reported on Tuesday that the licence plates of the truck, burnt after the crash, were also missing.

Another opposition politician, Zoran Djindjic, of the Democratic Party, said if the incident had been an assassination attempt, only the Serbian state could have organised it.

Mr Draskovic and his party are considered one of the key opponents of President Milosevic, despite occasional co-operation with the government.

He has refused to join daily street protests organized by Mr Djindjic to demand President Milosevic's removal, arguing that protests could lead to a civil war in Serbia.

Instead, he is demanding early elections be held.

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