Journalists’ associations seek investigation into police cover up of evidence regarding threat against journalist

October 17, 2022

Journalists’ and media associations have requested an investigation to confirm how key evidence in the case of threats against DrvoTehnika journalist Dragojlo Blagojević came to be concealed and who was responsible. Several associations of journalists and media have dubbed as “worrisome” the explanation of the Interior Ministry’s Department for Internal Control that it was down to a technical error. Accordingly, they expect the Interior Ministry to conduct an internal control procedure, in accordance with the law, and to determine who is responsible, thus contributing to ensuring continued mutual trust and improving the safety of journalists.

The criminal complaint filed by journalist Blagojević, in response to threats issued over the phone, was rejected by the Third Basic Prosecutor’s Office in Belgrade on 26th August. The Prosecution stated that it was, allegedly, established within the police that no calls were made to his home number. Following the insistence of the Permanent Working Group for the Security & Protection of Journalists, the prosecutor’s office directly requested that Telekom Srbija submit a list of incoming calls, which confirmed that the calls had indeed been made, as claimed by the journalist.

The Prosecution is now investigating the possible concealing of evidence, while the Third Public Prosecutor’s Office accepted the journalist’s complaint and is continuing to investigate who issued the threats. According to Blagojević’s claims, the threats followed the publishing of an issue of DrvoTehnika magazine that included an article he wrote about fraud among the management of a state-owned forestry enterprise.