Ombudsman releases police documents
Ombudsman Sasa Jankovic has released some of the documents of the Interior Ministry(MUP) about the incident during the Pride Parade in Belgrade.Source: B92, Beta
Based on these he pressed criminal charges against two members of the Military Police. On September 28 last year, they clashed with members of the MUP Gendarmerie unit.
The incident involved the Gendarmes on one side, and the brother of the Serbian prime minister, Andrej Vucic, the brother of the Belgrade mayor, and their security - two members of the Military Police, on the other.
The conclusions about the initiation of disciplinary proceedings and the report of the Interior Ministry's internal control department about inquiries ordered by the first prosecutor's office of original jurisdiction in Belgrade can be found on the website, Beta reported.
The ombudsman also stated that the documents he published provided facts to refute the veracity of a statement made by Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic, who said on Wednesday that "the presented claims about the incident exist only in the statements of the Gendarmerie members."
Earlier on Thursday, the minister said that "only documents signed by the accused members of the Gendarmerie can have official character," while there was "no document with the signature of the one MUP organ with jurisdiction to implement lawfulness, which is the Internal Control Sector."
The ombudsman's website said that the Internal Sector Control documents now published contain witness statements coming from citizens (rather than the suspended Gendarmes), who said members of the Military Security Agency (VBA) interviewed them, and that they also confiscated footage from security cameras from two nearby banks.
The ombudsman said that he published "only some of the documents" of the Interior Ministry, which are not classified, that those which are classified contain much more details, and that the personal data of officials and the names of the citizens who participated in the incident were removed from the published documents.
A statement on the website added:
"The ombudsman has stated that the MUP documents speak about four persons in civilian clothes ignoring verbal warnings, behaving insolently and arrogantly, and attacking on-duty members of the Gendarmerie, after which the Gendarmerie members used excessive force. Among other documents in the ombudsman's possession, this is contained in the explanation of all conclusions about the launching of the ongoing disciplinary procedures against the members of the Gendarmerie who have been suspended, and which we publish."
Jankovic told B92 earlier that the Ministry of Defense and the VBA both refused to submit data on this incident, thus acting contrary to Serbia's laws.
Defense Minister Bratislav Gasic did not react to these accusations, while army chief Ljubisa Dikovic did not wish to discuss the responsibility of the VBA.
Earlier this week, Jankovic revealed he was receiving threats in the wake of the complaint he filed against the Military Police officers. Zoran Babic, who heads the ruling SNS party's parliamentary group, said that the ombudsman "should turn to the institutions if he feels unsafe."