Friday, June 21, 2013

Serbian Priest Beats Addict to Death, Gets 20 Years; Branislav Peranovic Is Guilty of 2nd Degree Murder

A Serbian Orthodox priest was jailed for 20 years today (June 21, 2013) for beating to death a drug addict in his care -- an incident seen as being a blow to the reputation of Serbia's influential Orthodox Church -- according to the Reuters website.

A court in the western Serbian town of Sabac found priest Branislav Peranovic guilty of second-degree murder, saying he punched, kicked, and beat to death Nebojsa Zarubac with a 1.5-meter stick in August 2012.

"The sentence could have been greater, given the brutality, the way in which he was killed," said the victim's father, Milos Zarubac, according to Serbian Radio B92.

The case comes against a backdrop of rising friction between the Orthodox Church and Serbia's government, which have clashed over Belgrade's increasingly conciliatory position on Serbia's former province of Kosovo -- home of some of the church's most prized monasteries -- an independent Albanian-majority nation since 2008.

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