KRIK’s story How Serbia’s Health Minister Helped a Criminal Avoid Trial written by our journalist Dragana Peco and editor Stevan Dojcinovic has won the EU Award for the best investigative story in Serbia in 2018. This investigation clearly demonstrated strong ties between Minister Zlatibor Loncar and notorious Zemun clan.
“The authors were meticulously digging through court and other archives, as well as through social media, thus assembling a mosaic containing grotesque illustrations of the longstanding symbiosis of leading politicians and members of criminal clans,” said president of the jury Bojan Pancevski when explaining why the story of connections between Loncar and organized crime group was awarded.
“Professionally speaking, the job was done perfectly and it offers a summarized chronicle of relations of politicians with criminals, including evidence of financial transactions between the minister and a person close to Zemun clan”, said Pancevski.
KRIK’s editor Stevan Dojcinovic stated that this is one of the most significant acknowledgements so far, precisely because this particular story was chosen as the best one.
“There’s something special in all investigations we’ve done about Zlatibor Loncar. Not only are those the stories which brutally show connections between crime world and our government but also working on them has been very difficult. We have never felt such silence – it was almost impossible to find a source ready to talk about him, and when our stories were published, they were rarely republished by other media”, explained Dojcinovic at the award ceremony.
The EU awards have the goal of celebrating and promoting outstanding investigative journalists in the Western Balkans and Turkey, as well as improving the visibility of quality investigative journalism among the public in these countries.
Reporters Vladimir Kostic and Dina Djordjevic were awarded second prize for their articles entitled Small hydroelectric power plants: the state and companies connected to Vucic’s best man profit most and From Nigerian scheme to clandestine EPS procurement worth milions.
Third prize went to Milos Stanic for the article Toxic Taps: Arsenic in Water Stirs Cancer Fears.
Please read KRIK’s entire award-wining story here.