An interesting story is unfolding in Serbia. President Aleksandar Vucic is initiating a lawsuit against himself in order to prove that media accusations against him were false.
Serbian Progressive Party member Milos Vucevic filed a lawsuit against his party colleague Aleksandar Vucic, whereas Georgie Komlenski of the Socialist Movement filed a lawsuit against the leader of this party, Aleksandar Vulin (Minister of the Interior).
Vucevic refused to tell the media what acts he qualifies as criminal in the lawsuit. The lawsuit is designed to investigate whether there were any ties between the state leadership and the mafia clan of Velko Belivuk, he said.
"This is a criminal case based on the statements made by mass media outlets and certain individuals, as if they knew for certain there was a connection between the Milkovic-Belivuk organized crime group with Vucic and Vulin," Vucevic said.
There are Serbian publications among those media: KRIK, BIRN, Novu S, N1, an unnamed Croatian website and the party of Dragan Djilas (the leader of the opposition bloc Union for Serbia, which is Vucic's main political opponent — Ed.).
Serbian lawyers explain that false accusations against Vucic in the media, if proven, constitute criminal offense. It just so happens that the lawsuit was filed in order to acquit Vucic, and put 'presstitutes' in jail.
Aleksandar Vucic, the President of Serbia, said that he was ready to take a polygraph test.
Aleksandar Vucic also said that Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic explained to him that the FBI was not involved in exposing Belivuk's gang — he spoke about cooperation with the Americans in general.
Earlier, Stefanovic said that the investigation of the crimes committed by Belivuk's organized criminal group was launched at the time when he (Stefanovic) was serving as the Minister of the Interior, and, obviously, the key segment of that investigation was related to the FBI breaking the code of one of the messenger services used by the suspects.
"The information that the FBI shared with both the Europeans and our services has contributed greatly to bring down charges on this criminal group," Stefanovic said.
Velko Belivuk is one of the arrested leaders of the criminal group, the members of which are united by their passion for the game of football. According to TASS, on October 20, 2020, after a series of high-profile assassinations, Vucic declared war on the mafia in a special address to the nation. Criminals "will not be able to defeat the state," he said in his speech.
On February 4, Serbian law enforcement officers detained 17 members of the organized criminal group during a special operation in Belgrade.
According to the Serbian Interior Ministry, sniper rifles and machine guns with armor-piercing cartridges were found in the apartments owned by the organized crime group. The detainees were accused of brutal murders, extortion, kidnapping, drug trafficking, as well as of preparations to assassinate a high-ranking official, probably the president of the country.
Georgy Engelhardt, a researcher at the Institute for Slavic Studies, told Pravda.Ru that the scandal had been dragging on since last autumn, causing great reputational damage to the President of Serbia.
According to the expert, many of those who appear in the case had close relations or were comrades-in-arms, relatives or even members of the Vucic family. Therefore, Vucic decided to put an end to the scandal.
"In order to achieve this goal, he makes dramatic moves, such as filing a lawsuit against himself. As for the polygraph, President Vucic has a passion for this machine. He is always urging everyone to take a polygraph test when it comes to any scandal or threatens to take a polygraph test himself. This is a trick that he likes a lot," said Georgy Engelgart.
According to the expert, the current scandal reflects a complex of contradictions within the ruling elite of Serbia. At the same time, the scandal is being fueled from the outside, because it was the American Drug Enforcement Agency (not the FBI) that gave a start to it. Two years ago, the agency put strong pressure on the then Serbian Minister for the Interior Nebojs Stefanovic — also a close associate of Aleksandar Vucic.
The current scandal may lead to major political consequences and has already triggered a conflict between Vucic and Stefanovic.
Noteworthy, Aleksandar Vucic is considered to be a pro-Russian president because he does not support Western sanctions against Russia. However, as it is suspected in Serbia, he is conducting separate negotiations with the United States on the "exchange of territories" in relation to the issue of the province of Kosovo and Metohija, ultimately seeking to recognise the independence of the province.
The Russian forces destroyed a US-made HIMARS multiple-launch rocket system in Ukraine