Dačić signs dismissal request for Gendarmerie commander

PM and Interior Minister Ivica Dačić on Tuesday signed the request to dismiss the commander of the Serbian police unit Gendarmerie.

Source: Tanjug

Police Director Milorad Veljović earlier in the day called a news conference to say that he had requested the dismissal of Bratislav Dikić, after one member of the unit was arrested on suspicion of committing a double murder.

Reacting to this decision, Dikić told B92 that he thought it was "obvious that somebody objects to the fact I declare myself as a Serb in our country, Serbia," but added that "the time will come when that will change."

"I will not let anyone, even the director of police, discredit my achievements and my 23-year-long career in the police," Dikić told B92, and added:

"At his news conference, the director said subjective and objective accountability are one and the same - if this is true, then he is as subjectively responsible as I am for the committed murder."

Regarding the double homicide which was discovered on Monday, Dikić condemned the crime but noted that the Gendarmerie member arrested in connection with the murders was off duty at the time.

Dikić said the reason for his dismissal is unknown to him as well as the public, and that the claims being made in the media are not behind it.

He recalled that Veljović recently commended his command and always gave him stellar performance reviews.

"The police director's claims at today's conference that the Gendarmerie is in chaos are unfounded... The Gendarmerie has been under my command for over four years and it has carried out all of its tasks very successfully," he added.

Dikić said that he received salary bonuses for exceptional results every month and that he does not know the true reason behind the move for his dismissal.

Police Director Milorad Veljović called on Tuesday on Interior Minister Ivica Dačić to relieve Commander of the Gendarmerie Bratislav Dikić of his duties, after one member of that unit was arrested on suspicion that he committed a double murder in the village of Ratkovic near Rekovac, central Serbia.

Veljović said that he sent a request for Dikić's dismissal to the interior minister, and voiced expectation that he will respond as soon as today.

“The police must be a factor of national stability and enjoy people's trust,” Veljović said at a press conference at the Interior Ministry's headquarters.

The murder in Rekovac is the last straw, and a deterrent to other heads that they must keep track of what is going on in their units, and not deal with human resources issues at the police directorate, he warned.

“This is something that must not happen again. No individual should be above the system and the state, no one can allow themselves to function independent of the police directorate's system, if they are already in that system,” Veljović said, voicing disapproval of the manner in which the Gendarmerie performed its duties and its command structure.

Veljović voiced dissatisfaction with the fact that he did not get the report from the Internal Control Sector on the unit's actions in Nis, where according to media reports, some members of the Gendarmerie were involved in criminal activities.

"Had that case been resolved, this might have never taken place," the police director said, extending his condolences to the families of the killed men, and offering an apology to the Serbian public.

Veljović said that in 2011, he submitted a proposal, calling for certain human resources changes in the Gendarmerie due to disturbed interpersonal relations and poor functioning of the unit, but nothing was done in that regard.

The police director said that he informed Dikić on Monday that he should make himself available to the criminal police and help shed light on the murder in Rekovac.

Aleksandar Krstić, 33, a member of the Gendarmerie department in Kraljevo, was arrested on suspicion that he committed a brutal double murder on July 14, Veljović said.

According to the police release that was distributed to reporters, the criminal police in Jagodina, Kraljevo and Kragujevac ascertained that Krstić "entrapped Srđan Tomić, 28, and Aleksandar Nedeljković, 29, to whom he owed EUR 5,000."

Krstić is suspected of shooting both in the head in and then setting them and a car they were traveling in on fire.

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