Serbia's Defence Ministry accused N1 TV of media lynch after a reporter asked Prime Minister Ana Brnabic what the Ministry's head Aleksandar Vulin did to deserve an honorary pilot badge.
She said she was not an expert in the military and suggested N1 ask the Defence Ministry.
When Vulin was named Defence Minister, many recalled he had never been in the army though at his time it was a compulsory, let alone serving in the air force. As the Minister, he spent 15 days in a barrack as a reservist.
However, the Ministry said it awarded him for "the contribution in developing equipping, and creating conditions for the improvement of the war airforce and anti-aircraft defence, and not for being a pilot."
It then added that N1 "forgot to mention that a former Defence Minister Dragan Sutanovac also received the same badge," which was not true since an N1 reporter directly mentioned Sutanovac and the same Defence Ministry decision in her question to Brnabic.
"That is an honorary badge, but the Luxembourg media either don't understand that or it's easier for them (to ask). Maybe that's why they forgot to mention that Dragan Sutanovac received the gold-plated pilot's badge in 2008," the Ministry statement said.