Damir Dokic jailed for threatening to kill Australian ambassador

| 12.06,09. 07:16 AM |

Damir Dokic jailed for threatening to kill Australian ambassador

June 12, 2009 - 6:22AM

The estranged father of tennis comeback queen Jelena Dokic has been jailed for 15 months in Serbia after threatening to blow up Australia's ambassador to Belgrade.

Damir Dokic was found guilty of making telephone threats to kill Clare Birgin with a grenade launcher and for having a cache of illegal weapons at the end of his trial in the northern Serbian town of Ruma on Thursday.

The 15-month sentence was far less than the maximum penalty of five to eight years Dokic could have been handed.

The 50-year-old war veteran was sentenced to spend 10 months behind bars after being found guilty of threatening to take another person's life.

He was ordered to spend another seven months in jail for illegally possessing firearms found at his home in Vrdnik.

Dokic was given a two-month reduction in his total sentence because of the time he had spent in custody since his arrest in early May.

Dokic made the threats to Birgin in a phone call to the Australian embassy in Belgrade while enraged over an interview Jelena gave to an Australian magazine indicating he had physically assaulted her when she was growing up.

His trial was held behind closed doors amid reports that his daughter had flown to Serbia to support her father because she was worried about his health.

Doctors had to treat the 50-year-old for hypertension as he waited to be sentenced.

Serbian daily newspaper Novosto reported Jelena had arrived in Belgrade to visit her father, but her brother Savo Dokic refused to deny or confirm the report.

"Please understand me, I would not like to talk in public about such things," he told the newspaper.

Jelena had refused to discuss her father's legal problems with reporters when she continued her tennis comeback at the French Open in late May.

The player, a former world No.4, was forced to quit the grand slam because of a lower back injury during her second-round match.

She is due to make her first on-court appearance since leaving Roland Garros in a qualifying round at a WTA grasscourt tournament at Eastbourne on Saturday.

The Argus newspaper in Britain reported Dokic had been practising at Devonshire Park during the week after doctors declared her fit to play in the traditional Wimbledon warm-up event.


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