The Savamala scandal: Stefanovic confronts OSCE

Interior Minister Stefanovic says he will ask why a representative of the OSCE “grossly interfered in the internal affairs of Serbia.”

Stefanovic made this remark on Wednesday, after Maurizio Salustro – a senior adviser to the OSCE mission in Serbia – spoke about the so-called Savamala case – i.e., the controversial nighttime demolition in late April of several buildings in this Belgrade district.

According to Salustro, citizens should be concerned over the behavior of the police in this case, Beta agency is reporting. 

“I am very unpleasantly surprised, and I’ll ask for an explanation of whether this is the official position of the OSCE, and if not, I will seek an apology and a retraction,” Stefanovic said. 

According to media reports, Salustro spoke on Tuesday during a workshop to state that there was “mounting evidence that the police conduct was intentional and planned.” 

“Leaving aside what the criminals did that night, the problem is what the police did, that is, did not do. If you read that (ombudsman’s) report, and if what it says is true – there is irrefutable evidence that the actions of the police were deliberate, not only deliberate but also planned at a very high level, as otherwise it would not have been possible,” Salustro said, according to media reports. 

Speaking on Wednesday, Stefanovic said he was surprised by the OSCE “brutally interfering in the internal affairs of Serbia, in a way that honors neither the prosecutorial investigation nor the court proceedings, that have not been concluded.” 

Stefanovic added that once he receives a response from the OSCE he intends to send an official letter to Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic concerning “the next steps of the MUP (Interior Ministry).” 

Asked why the MUP failed to submit an internal control report on the Savamala case to Ombudsman Sasa Jankovic, Stefanovic said his ministry will forward the report, “and they are free to act as they see fit.” 

“We send everything the ombudsman asks for, but he has no right to interfere with the investigation,” said Stefanovic.

(B92., 27.09.2016)

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