The police arrested a top executive from the Direct Media Company (formerly owned by opposition leader Dragan Djilas), as well as two other persons working at the marketing department of the state-run broadcaster Radio and Television of Serbia (RTS) just hours after Djilas reminded reporters that he warned of the arrests earlier.
The RTS reported that the police confirmed the arrests of the Direct Media CEO and two RTS employees were done under the orders of the Organized Crime Prosecution.
Only couple of hours before the arrest, Djilas reminded reporters that he had warned 45 days earlier that people in his company and the RTS would be arrested under false accusations of inflicting damages on the public broadcaster.
Speaking in front of the Serbian Presidency building, Djilas said the arrests were made under orders from President Aleksandar Vucic. He added that RTS documents showed that the charges against the three people were false. “They have been arrested because Aleksandar Vucic decided so, not because of legal issues,” Djilas said.
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Stefanovic identified the three arrested people only by their initials (Direct Media CEO J.S., RTS former marketing and commercial services directors M.D.J. and M.K.) adding that an arrest warrant has been issued for J.D., a former Direct Media executive. The minister claimed that the total damages inflicted on the RTS stand at 688 million Dinars.
He said the investigation took a year to complete because the information was not readily available. “This case will end up in court with an indictment. This is an example of how the RTS, ie the citizens of Serbia, was robbed. These people are suspected of taking part in serious crimes with 688 million Dinars ending up in someone’s pockets,” he said.
The Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) also held a news conference to comment on the arrests. SNS deputy leader Marija Obradovic claimed that Djilas and his company got free air time and discounts from the RTS, without every having a contract with that, adding that that was in violation of the relevant law. Obradovic also said that Djilas subsequently re-sold the air time and made millions of euros in profits.
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