President "doesn't like Dacic - but is on his side"
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic has taken the side of Ivica Dacic after the publishing of video recordings of Dacic's meetings with Rodoljub Radulovic.Source: Sputnik
Radulovic is now a fugitive from justice. The footage, dating back to 2008 and 2009, was published on the KRIK website on Monday.
In a statement for B92
later the same day, Dacic, the leader of the SPS and Serbia's foreign minister, reiterated that he was unaware of Radulovic's alleged criminal activities at the time the encounters took place.
Nikolic commented for Sputnik on Tuesday to say it was "not good when such materials leak to the public" and that "an investigation should deal with it, otherwise, the public will reach its own verdict."
"If this were a part of a court process where his guilty would be proved, I would join those condemning him (Dacic.) But as long as the public is condemning him, and I know very well what that's like - I'm somehow on his side," said Nikolic.
"I don't wish that on anyone," the president said, and noted that "although he likes only the SNS" he "does not like something like this happening to anyone."
"I can't say I like Ivica Dacic - I don't hate him, either, I have no reason, why would I like him, but I don't like this happening to anyone. This is not an attack on him because of some demimonde, immorality, this is something a serious state should do, a police investigation, it is not for the public. Once it leaks to the public, a man is already condemned. Now the whole Serbia is probably thinking, 'well, look at that'," Nikolic has been quoted as saying.
The president then revealed he and his family had been "the target of most disgusting attacks" - but that he was not mentioned in connection with organized crime.
"It should be normal in any country to conduct an investigation and for its details not to leak, while the prosecution should decide whether the act in question should be sanctioned," said Nikolic.
He also stated it was "possible also that Dacic did not know who he was talking with" - i.e. that Dacic was, as he claims, unaware "what Radulovic did."