"We have a huge amount of data" - More arrests to follow
Belgrade -- Minister of the Interior, Mr. Aleksandar Vulin told RTS that the mafia is very powerful and has unlimited money that always talks.
He said that the ongoing attempt serves to relativize the existence of a criminal group whose members were arrested.
During the RTS daily news broadcast, Mr. Aleksandar Vulin said that the attempt was made to relativize the crimes by presenting that it was not exactly as per se, to present the persons arrested as victims of the showdown between the individuals in power. When asked to clarify the alleged relativization attempt, Mr. Vulin said that somebody is trying to change the opinion of the public in general by holding daily press conferences stating that the persons arrested are victims only for belonging to a criminal group, that this is a matter of mere politics, not crime.
He pointed out that the Ministry of the Interior has compiled a large amount of data, listing 44 Sky phones seized as an example.
"Imagine now, the amount of data, numbers, contacts, photos, text messages, etc. we have," said the Minister, adding that the police raided 30 locations on the first night only, with the number of suspects and interrogated increasing on daily basis ever since.
He added that the investigation is expanding and that new information is coming in daily. Asked if more arrests could be expected, he replied: "Without any doubt."
He pointed out that the structure of the organization in charge of drugs trafficking is being scrutinized, and that some interesting arrests were made in the inland yesterday as well. When asked about the arrest of former Deputy Chief of Criminal Police Directorate, Mr. Goran Papic, the Minister said he was charged with trading in influence.
He stated that the charges have been unequivocally proven and that the court would not have ordered his detention if it weren't so. He pointed out that Mr. Papic was accused of using his position and influence by ordering the return of the confiscated armored vehicle to Mr. Marko Miljkovic.
"This is the beginning of what we consider to be an influence trade," Vulin said, believing that there is more to come. The Minister said that Mr. Papic was a high-ranking police official and that as such he could have been instructed into potential wrongdoings of some other members of the Police.
When it comes to the interrogation of the former FC Partizan official Mr. Vladimir Vuletic, who said that the recording of his conversation with Mr. Veljko Bjelivuk was reworked, Mr. Vulin said that the police do not deal with editing or reworking.
"Our job is to find the truth, if the truth is hard to take, that is not our problem," the Minister said.
He said that Mr. Vuletic showed up to give a statement, and that he has agreed to a polygraph testing, but then he told us about his health condition making the testing impossible to perform.
"He remembered that upon his arrival," Mr. Vulin said, commenting the situation as the number one option for all those trying to avoid the polygraph.
When asked whether the polygraph is considered evidence, Mr. Vulin explained that it is not used in court, but it gives the police the direction of the investigation.
"We believe that a decision to refuse or to accept polygraph testing could say a lot," Mr. Vulin said.
When it comes to the role of Ms. Diana Hrkalovic in wiretapping Mr. Aleksandar Vucic, Mr. Vulin said that it was all over and that the evidence had been handed over to the prosecution. Her role with the role of other participants was explained. He pointed out that now everything is up to the prosecution. Commenting on the parts of her statement published by the media, Mr. Vulin said that the evidence did not leak from the police.
He also stated the fact that the Ministry of Interior has a copy of the statement together with the person who gave it. He also reminded that leaking information from the police is a criminal act punishable by a prison sentence. The Minister also said that the former head of the CPU Belgrade, Mr. Ilija Milačić, admitted the crime and that the investigation data could not be submitted to tabloids, mobsters, politicians ...
“This is a message for all those breaking the law believing that the police will not discover those revealing official secrets", Mr. Vulin concluded.
He also said that no person can instruct the prosecutor's office what to do, and that the publication of disturbing photos was intended to show the truth, and that the existence of a criminal group and all perpetrators may not be relativized.