Police looking for journalist reported missing on Thursday

The Interior Ministry (MUP) said it launched a search operation immediately after being informed that journalist Stefan Cvetkovic had gone missing.

Source: B92, Beta, Tanjug
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(YouTube/BC Novosti, file)
(YouTube/BC Novosti, file)

The MUP said on Thursday that Gendarmes, divers, and a police helicopter are all looking for Cvetkovic, and that the police are working intensively to shed light on all the circumstance of this case.

As of Friday morning, Cvetkovic had not been found.

Cvetkovic went missing in the town of Bela Crkva overnight. A car owned by his father, that Cvetkovic is using, was found with its doors open and lights on. Eyewitnesses told Beta that Cvetkovic's wrist watch with its band torn was found next to the vehicle.

The agency said it tried to contact Cvetkovic, but all his known cell phones were turned off.

Speaking in Krusevac, central Serbia, later on Thursday, President Aleksandar Vucic said that he was informed about the progress the MUP and the security service BIA are making "every 15 minutes," but that he could not present any more details about the case.

Cvetkovic attracted public attention in recent years several times, when he on several occasions said he had been threatened. According media reports 2013, he said that he and his son were intercepted by unknown men, who wielded a weapon and threatened that something would happen to his son unless she shut up. According to him at the time, he assumed that the threat came because he was investigating the case of illicit drug procurements.

The threats were repeated in 2015 when Cvetkovic wrote about abuses in the Fund for Capital Investments of Vojvodina.

In 2017, he clashed with local SNS leaders who sued him for presenting lies and falsehood, and a court found him guilty on those charges. However, a month later, another court annulled the verdict, and Cvetkovic said that if the SNS's claims are proved, he would "sue himself."

The last time he was mentioned publicly when he told the media on May 19 that he had been detained for six hours at the Jarinje administrative crossing, and that he received a document from the Kosovo police afterwards confirming that, on the orders of the special prosecutor investigating the murder of Kosovo politician Oliver Ivanovic, he was detained at a police station near the crossing for questioning.

Cvetkovic said at the time that he went to Kosovo on journalistic business because he was working on investigating the murder of Oliver Ivanovic. "They had no other way to get to see me, since they noticed that I'd came into contact with some people who are interested to them for the investigation," Cvetkovic told Beta after he was released.

He held a press conference in Belgrade in February, entitled "How does liquidation cost in the North of Kosovo," when he also showed photographs of people allegedly involved in the liquidation of Oliver Ivanovic and claimed that this assassination was paid for with 40,000 euros.

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