Mesto: Beograd Datum: 19.06.2018 Dogadjaj: MEDIJI/KIOSK - konferencija za novinare novinara Stefana Cvetkoviæa Licnosti: Stefan Cvetkoviæ

Journalist disappears, only to be found after a one-day search

June 17, 2018

Journalist Stefan Cvetković from the northern Serbian town of Bela Crkva was found on the morning of 15th June after having disappeared on Wednesday evening, while his car was found with the door open and a wrist watch beside the car on the street, which prompted suspicion among the public that he had been kidnapped. Further fuelling these doubts was the fact that Cvetković reported having received several verbal threats and physical attacks in recent years, while he has recently been investigating the murder of Kosovo Serb opposition leader Oliver Ivanović.

Following a police manhunt, President Aleksandar Vučić announced on Friday that Cvetković had been found that morning in the wider Bela Crkva area “alive and well”. He said that he is “in our hands” and that he is in the Criminal Police Directorate, as he has “lots of information to share”.

As he explained, Cvetković has “a strange story that is being checked as if it is about the greatest truth” and that they suspect “several people planned this game”. However, he did not provide any precise information, so the public continued to speculate over whether this means that Cvetković directed his own kidnapping.

Speaking on Sunday morning, interior minister Nebojša Stefanović said that “in the entire case and in his statement there is a lot that is illogical”, among other things, that only Cvetkovic’s DNA was found on the wristwatch, and that the police confirmed that he was not being followed, although he claimed the opposite during a lie detector test. The Minister added that “it is completely clear that several people participated in this”, and that the case has been handed over to the prosecution.

During the same day, media reported that Cvetković had called the Beta agency by telephone and said that he had returned home, that he was unharmed and that he would announce at a press conference next week what happened to him “to the minutest detail”. According to announcements, the first official results of the investigation are also expected during this week.