|Birth Day:||April 17, 1952|
|Death Date:||Jan 15, 2000 (age 47)|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Zeljko Raznatovic died on Jan 15, 2000 (age 47).
He was first arrested in 1966, serving a year in prison for stealing women's purses.
Teenaged Ražnatović was arrested for the first time in 1966 for snatching women's purses around Tašmajdan Park, spending a year at a juvenile detention center not far from Belgrade. His father then sent him to the seaside town of Kotor (SR Montenegro) in order to join the Yugoslav Navy, but young Ražnatović had other plans (ending up in Paris at the age of fifteen). In 1969 he was arrested by French police and deported home, where he was sentenced to three years at the detention center in Valjevo for several burglaries. During this time he organized his own gang in the prison.
In 1972, aged 20, Ražnatović migrated to Western Europe. Abroad, he was introduced to and kept contact with many well-known criminals from Yugoslavia, such as Ljuba Zemunac, Ranko Rubežić, Đorđe "Giška" Božović, Goran Vuković, etc., all of whom were also occasionally contracted by the UBDA, and all of whom were since assassinated or otherwise killed. Ražnatović took the nickname "Arkan" from one of his forged passports. On 28 December 1973, he was arrested in Belgium following a bank robbery, and was sentenced to ten years in prison.
His eldest son Mihajlo was born in Gothenburg, in 1975, from a relationship with a Swedish woman. In 1992, 17-year-old Mihajlo decided to move to Serbia to live with his father. During this time the teenager was photographed wearing the uniform of his father's paramilitary unit during the Yugoslav Wars and according to a Swedish tabloid report the youngster participated in combat operations in Srebrenica. Mihajlo has since lived in Belgrade where he played for the Red Star Belgrade ice-hockey club off and on between 2000 and 2009, also representing Serbia-Montenegro on the national team level between 2002 and 2004. During this time he also ran a sushi restaurant in Belgrade called Iki Bar and dated Macedonian pop singer Karolina Gočeva. He left Serbia after that.
Ražnatović managed to escape from the Verviers prison on 4 July 1979. Although he was apprehended in the Netherlands on 24 October 1979, the few months he was free were enough for at least two more armed robberies in Sweden and three more in the Netherlands. Serving a seven-year sentence at a prison in Amsterdam, Ražnatović pulled off another escape on 8 May 1981 after someone slipped him a gun. Wasting no time, more robberies followed, this time in West Germany, where after less than a month of freedom he was arrested in Frankfurt on 5 June 1981 following a jewellery store stickup. In the ensuing shootout with police he was lightly wounded, resulting in his placement in the prison hospital ward. Looser security allowed Ražnatović to escape again only four days later, on 9 June, supposedly by jumping from the window, beating up the first passerby and stealing his clothing before disappearing. His final European arrest occurred in Basel, Switzerland, during a routine traffic check on 15 February 1983. However, he managed to escape again within months, this time from Thorberg prison on 27 April.
In his youth, Ražnatović was a ward of his father's friend, the Slovenian politician and Federal Minister of the Interior, Stane Dolanc. Dolanc was chief of the State Security Administration (UDBA) and a close associate of President Josip Broz Tito. Whenever Ražnatović was in trouble, Dolanc helped him, allegedly as a reward for his services to the UDBA, as seen in the escape from the Lugano prison in 1981. Dolanc is quoted as having said: "One Arkan is worth more than the whole UDBA."
Ražnatović returned to Belgrade in May 1983, continuing his criminal career by managing a number of illegal activities. In November of that year, six months after his return, a bank in Zagreb was robbed with the thieves who left a rose on the counter (allegedly Ražnatović's signature from his Western European robberies). Looking to question Ražnatović about his whereabouts during the robbery, two policemen, members of the Secretariat of Internal Affairs' (SUP) Tenth department from the Belgrade municipality of Palilula, showed up in civilian clothing at his mother's apartment on 27 March Street in Belgrade. Ražnatović happened to not be home at the moment, so the policemen introduced themselves to his mother as "friends of her son looking to return a cash debt they owed him" and asked the woman if they could wait for him to return to the apartment. Ražnatović's mother phoned him to say that two unknown males waited for him. Ražnatović showed up with a revolver and proceeded to shoot and wound both policemen. He was detained immediately; however, barely 48 hours later, he was released. The occurrence made it clear to all observers, especially his criminal rivals, that he enjoyed protection from the highest echelons of the Yugoslav political leadership.
On 11 October 1990, as the political situation in Yugoslavia became tense, Ražnatović created a paramilitary group named the Serb Volunteer Guard (SDG). Ražnatović was the supreme commander of the unit, which was primarily made up of members of the Delije and his personal friends.
Infant Željko spent part of his childhood in Zagreb (SR Croatia) and Pančevo (SR Serbia), before his father's job eventually took the family to the Yugoslav capital of Belgrade (SR Serbia), which is considered his hometown. He grew up with three older sisters in a strict, militaristic patriarchal household with regular physical abuse from his father. In a 1991 interview he recalled: "He didn't really hit me in a classical sense, he'd basically grab me and slam me against the floor."
In late October 1990, Ražnatović traveled to Knin (in Croatia) to meet representatives of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, a Serb break-away region that sought to remain in FR Yugoslavia, as opposed to the Croatian government that seceded. On 29 November, Croatian police arrested him at the Croatian-Bosnian border crossing Dvor na Uni along with local Dušan Carić and Belgraders Dušan Bandić and Zoran Stevanović. Ražnatović's entourage was sent to Sisak and was charged with conspiracy to overthrow the newly formed Croatian state. Ražnatović was sentenced to twenty months in jail. He was released from Zagreb's Remetinec prison on 14 June 1991. It has been claimed that the Croatian and Serbian governments agreed on a DM1 million settlement for his release.
In July 1991, Ražnatović stayed for some time at the Cetinje monastery, with Metropolitan Amfilohije Radović. His group of men, fully armed, were allowed to enter the monastery, where they served as security. Ražnatović's group traveled from Cetinje to the Siege of Dubrovnik. On his return from Dubrovnik, he was again a guest at Cetinje.
When the Croatian War of Independence broke out in 1991, the SDG was active in the Vukovar region. After the Bosnian War broke out in April 1992, the unit moved between the Croatian and Bosnian fronts, engaging in multiple instances of ethnic cleansing by killing and forcefully deporting mostly Bosniak civilians. In Croatia, it fought in various areas in SAO Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Syrmia (Serbian Krajina). Ražnatović reportedly had a dispute over military operations with Krajina leader Milan Martić. In Bosnia, the SDG notably fought in battles in and around Zvornik, Bijeljina and Brčko, mostly against Bosniak and Bosnian Croat paramilitary groups, including killings of civilians.
Since 1993, Ražnatović had been involved with folk singer Svetlana Ceca Ražnatović. Their lavish wedding ceremony on 19 February 1995 occurred as a day-long media production carried live on TV Pink with different locations and changes of clothing (at different points of the ceremony Ražnatović alternated between World War I Serb military uniform and traditional Montenegrin attire). Svetlana bore him two more children.
Ražnatović's first wife was Natalija Martinović, a Spanish language professor, with whom he had four children. Their divorce became official in December 1994. All four children decided to carry their mother's surname.
In June 1994, sometime after her separation from Željko Ražnatović, Natalija Martinović and their four children left Yugoslavia and moved to Athens, Greece, where Željko bought them an apartment in the suburb of Glyfada. After his assassination, Martinović disputed his will, claiming that Svetlana, his second wife, doctored it. In May 2000, she sued Svetlana over Željko's assets, including the villa at Ljutice Bogdana Street in which he and Svetlana lived (and where Svetlana continues to reside), claiming it was built with funds from a bank loan Martinović and Ražnatović took out in 1985. The court eventually ruled against Martinović. The court agreed with her assertions that the villa was built with money from a 1985 bank loan taken out by her and Ražnatović, but ruled she had forfeited any rights in future division of that asset when she signed the property over to Ražnatović in 1994 before moving to Greece.
In late 1995 Ražnatović's troops fought in the area of Banja Luka, Sanski Most and Prijedor. In October 1995 he left Sanski Most as the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ARBiH) reclaimed the city.
In the postwar period after the Dayton agreement was signed, Ražnatović returned to his interests in sport and private business. The SDG was officially disbanded in April 1996, with the threat of being reactivated in case of war. In June of that year he took over a second division soccer team, FK Obilić, which he soon turned into a top caliber club, even winning the 1997-98 Yugoslav league championship.
According to chief judge Richard May from the United Kingdom, the ICTY issued an indictment against Ražnatović on 30 September 1997 for war crimes of genocide against the Bosnian Muslim population, crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. The warrant was not made public until 31 March 1999, a week after the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia had begun, as intervention in the Kosovo War (1998–99). Ražnatović's indictment was made public by the UN court's chief prosecutor Louise Arbour.
In March 1999, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) announced that Ražnatović had been indicted by the Tribunal, although the indictment was only made public after his assassination. According to the indictment Ražnatović was to have been prosecuted on 24 charges of crimes against humanity (Art. 5 ICTY Statute), grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions (Art. 2 ICTY Statute) and violations of the laws of war (Art. 3 ICTY Statute), for the following acts:
A memorial ceremony in Ražnatović's honour was held on 19 January 2000, with writer Branislav Crnčević, Yugoslav Left (JUL) official Aleksandar Vulin, singers Oliver Mandić, Toni Montano, and Zoran Kalezić, along with the entire first team of FK Obilić, including club director Dragoslav Šekularac, in attendance.
Željko Ražnatović was buried at the Belgrade New Cemetery with military honours by his volunteers and with funeral rites on 20 January 2000. Around 10,000 people attended the funeral.
Dobrosav Gavrić pleaded innocent but was convicted and sentenced to 19 years in prison. His accomplices received from 3 to 15 years each, after a year-long trial in 2002. However, the district court verdict was overturned by the Supreme Court because of "lack of evidence and vagueness of the first trial process". A new trial was conducted in 2006, ending on 9 October 2006 with guilty verdicts upheld for Gavrić as well as his accomplices, Milan Đuričić and Dragan Nikolić. Each man was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
According to Franklin Foer, in his book How Soccer Explains the World, Ražnatović threatened players on opposing teams if they scored against Obilić. This threat was underlined by the thousands of SDG veterans that filled his team's home field, chanting threats, and on occasion pointing pistols at opposing players during matches. One player told the British football magazine FourFourTwo that he was locked in a garage when his team played Obilić. Europe's football governing body, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), considered prohibiting Obilić from participation in continental competitions because of its connections to Ražnatović. In response to this, Ražnatović stepped away from the position of president and gave his seat to his wife Svetlana. In a 2006 interview, Dragoslav Šekularac (who was coach of Obilić while Ražnatović was with the club) said claims that Ražnatović verbally and physically assaulted Obilić players were false. Ražnatović was a chairman of the Yugoslav Kickboxing Association.
In 2012, Željko Ražnatović's son by his first wife, Vojin Martinović, again accused Svetlana of falsifying his father's will. In response, Željko Ražnatović's former associate Borislav Pelević said that the villa at Ljutice Bogdana Street was not mentioned in the will as he had already signed it over to his second wife.
In 2013 he was in the news in Serbia again following the conclusion of a court case that had dragged on since 2005 over Ražnatović's failure to meet the repayment terms on a RSD1.1 million car loan he took out in 2002 from Komercijalna Banka. After continually failing to meet his monthly payments, the bank wanted the loan paid off in full in August 2005, and two years later took him to court. In June 2010 he was ordered to pay RSD3.3 million based upon the interest on the original loan. In the end, the verdict stated he owed the bank RSD2.9 million.
Zeljko had a total of nine children with five different women.
|#4||Anastasija Ražnatović||Daughter||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||22||Celebrity Family Member|
|#6||Natalija Martinović||Former spouse||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#12||Ceca||Spouse||$80 million (2015)||N/A||47||Folk Singer|
Currently, Zeljko Raznatovic is 71 years, 1 months and 17 days old. Zeljko Raznatovic will celebrate 72nd birthday on a Wednesday 17th of April 2024. Below we countdown to Zeljko Raznatovic upcoming birthday.