On Wednesday night, at around ten o’clock, an unknown man took away mobile phone from our journalist Bojana Pavlović, after she had photographed Danilo Vučić, the son of the President of Serbia, watching a football match together with Aleksandar Vidojević – a hooligan close to the Kavač criminal clan. This happened in the presence of three police officers, who did not react. After a short discussion and with Vidojević’s approval, Bojana’s phone was returned to her. KRIK demands from the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs to urgently determine and disclose who has confiscated our reporter’s equipment.
After one of our readers informed us that he saw the president’s son in the company of hooligans, our journalist Bojana Pavlović went to the cafe “Piazza dei Fiori”, located in the center of Belgrade. This was on Wednesday night, just before 10 p.m.
There was Danilo Vučić, sitting with Aleksandar Vidojević and a several other men, they were watching TV broadcast of the football match between “Red Star” and “Partizan”. Vidojević is a member of the Partizan’s fan (hooligan) group “Janissaries” and he is currently on trial for demolishing a night club with other hooligans from this group. He is also listed in the Serbian police database as a member of the Montenegrin Kavač clan.
Among those gathered, KRIK journalist also recognized Nemanja Srećković, hooligan from the same group.
Bojana photographed them from the street through the window of the café and left. She was soon stopped by three men who introduced themselves as police officers. Pavlović has showed them her press card, but they told her that she must wait for the police patrol.
They demanded that she deletes the photos from the phone because, as they said, “they may have problems”. Then two more men approached, but they did not act as police officers, nor did they introduce themselves.
Our journalist asked to call the editor, but one of the newcomers took the phone from her hand, to which the police did not react. She asked persistently why her equipment was taken away, the man who took it responded that he does not have to explain anything, because he is a “civilian”.
Vidojević and Srećković then approached the group, and the police officers left. Vidojević told the person who confiscated the phone to return it and it was done. He then told Bojana that KRIK is endangering his life by publishing articles about him. After that they left.
KRIK publicly demands from the Ministry of Internal Affairs to determine and disclose who took the journalist’s phone and why police did not react. Journalists in Serbia, who are increasingly exposed to pressure, should be allowed to do their jobs without hindrance.
We remind you that KRIK and OCCRP have recently published complex investigation about ongoing war between Montenegrin cocaine clans. Reporters gathered documents from police, courts, and intelligence agencies and spoke to sources familiar with the Balkan criminal scene. Together, the evidence shows that the Kavač-Škaljari drug war has upended the region’s underworld. Even some Serbian and Montenegrin police and politicians have sided with the Kavač faction. And as a part of that investigation we published that Vučić’s son, Danilo, is friends with Aleksandar Vidojević, they were photographed together several times. That has immediately sparked uproar among Serbian officials, it unleashed a barrage of coverage echoing statements from political leaders who accused KRIK journalists’ of targeting the president’s son on behalf of the opposition. The same thing is happening today, KRIK team is once again under vicious smear campaign.
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