The Parliament Committee for control of security services said on Friday the Military Security Agency (VBA) did not implement any special measures against former Defence minister Dragan Sutanovac and the Nedeljnik weekly editor-in-chief Veljko Lalic which could help anyone to gather data from their communication, the news agencies reported.
Serbia's Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin commented on an article in the Belgrade Nedeljnik weekly that had never been published by the newspaper, or anyone else, the weekly reported on Sunday.
Later, the Defence Ministry, apologised, blaming its PR, which said the article was published by Nedeljnik instead of the Kurir tabloid. Nevertheless, it added, "all the Minister said was true."
The statement said that the General inspector of security services conducted a special control of VBA, implementing all procedures and measures which would enable the interception of the email and phone communication between the two and found out there was no any illegal activities or abuses, adding that the surveillance had to be done in line with law and that it should be recorded.
The exceptional control, the statement said, was conducted "after public allegations that Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin had illegal access to the electronic communication between Lalic and Sutanovac who suggested that VBA might have enabled it.
Later on Friday, Sutanovac commented on the Committee's decision, saying that "the urgency with which the issue has been 'solved' proves that no one has taken it seriously," He added that such "report was expected."
"Since the opposition doesn't take part in the Commission meetings, it could have reported that the Earth was flat."
Lalic told Beta that it was "indicative that VBA, and not (civilian Security-Intelligence Agency) BIA was asked to investigate. There is no reason for VBA to follow our work. We don't understand why the Committee hadn't asked BIA at the same time."
"We don't know who intercepted our communications, how they did it; was anyone under the state, some para-state or hackers' surveillance. But we believe that it is in the public interest to find out how all that happened," Lalic said.