MARCH 17 2007 16:03h

Suspected Serb Gang Boss Arrested In Germany


German police have arrested suspected Serb gangster Andrija Draskovic, on trial for murder in Serbia and wanted in Italy.

He is wanted in Italy for drug trafficking.

Draskovic, seen as one of the most powerful figures in Serbia's underworld and a successor to murdered warlord Zeljko "Arkan" Raznatovic, was arrested in Frankfurt last Sunday, a spokesman for the BKA federal police said.

He is sought on an international arrest warrant issued in Italy and will be held pending extradition proceedings.

Draskovic was jailed in Serbia in 2002 during a police smuggling probe, but was never charged and was quickly released.

He was later charged with shooting dead a diner at a Belgrade restaurant in September 2000. The fourth murder retrial is under way and Serbia is expected to seek his extradition. He has been linked to the January 2000 murder of Serbian paramilitary chief and gangster boss Arkan, whose mantle he is widely seen to have assumed.