The Ministry of Interior presented police results at the Defense and Internal Affairs Committee meeting without entering in a debate on a covert work of external factors in Serbia.
By: Ana Ćurić (BIRN)
The Serbian Minister of Interior Nebojša Stefanović presented results of the police in the last quarter of 2017 and the first half of 2018 at the beginning of the Assembly’s Defense and Internal Affairs Committee meeting on 10 October 2018.
There have been 41.960 criminal acts in the first half of 2018, which is by 1.000 less than in the same period in 2017. One of the major police actions in 2017 was ARES (dealing with drug smuggling and distribution), PLUTO 1 and 2, and SIGNAL aimed at corporate crime and criminal deeds of corruption.
Stefanović emphasized that the Government adopted the strategy to fight trafficking. This is one of the activities linked to the Action plan for Chapter 24. The public order and peace in 2017 are successfully protected while the current security situation is stable, according to the Minister of Interior.
In the first half of 2018, the number of cases pertaining to drugs has increased and the police realized a number of actions in cooperation with other European countries. As for prevention of corruption, newly established departments within specialized government institutions started operation in March 2018 and first results are expected by the end of this year
“Domestic violence is the only form of criminal behavior for which we have not managed to find an adequate solution”, Stefanović said, adding that he is pleased to see some encouraging results.
Domestic violence cases in 2017 included 44 murders.
In the first three months of 2018, the number of reported cases of domestic violence has gone up. The Minister of Interior explained that this is the result of the campaign “Stop Domestic Violence”, which the Ministry conducted in order to encourage women to come forward and report violence.
He also mentioned investigation of the murder of Oliver Ivanović, who was assassinated at the beginning of 2017. Exchange of information pertaining to this case with EULEX, KFOR, and KPS was minimal, Stefanović said, adding that the Serbian side, therefore, decided to conduct an investigation of its own.
Balša Božović of the Democratic Party noticed that presented reports do not contain any of the information recently released to the public regarding “subversive actions of certain opposition politicians, civil society organizations, media and trade unions”.
Namely, Marko Parezanović from the Security Information Agency recently said that the greatest threat for Serbia is covert actions of foreign factors, in most cases using the mechanisms of special agencies.
“This results in abuses and manipulation of certain individuals in opposition and some of the media… Also, it often happens that certain non-governmental organizations engage in destructive and subversive activities”, Parezanović explained.
Božović then asked if the claims about individuals who are allegedly dangerous for the security situation in Serbia is based on any special assessments and information or is it just a personal opinion, and reminded the present that Oliver Ivanović himself was presented as a traitor in media just before he was killed.
Stefanović replied that this question was not on the agenda and that interference of foreign agencies is a security risk in every country.
The Minister of Interior concluded that the greatest current risk for Serbia is the issue of security in Kosovo and Metohija “not only because we are unable to be present in the territory, but also because it impacts security situation within Serbia”.
The next meeting of the Defense and Interior Affairs Committee on 15 of October was closed for the public due to the sensitive nature of the information discussed.