Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Thursday confirmed media reports that his two older children are under surveillance.
Vucic told the pro-government TV Pink that it’s true that “certain persons” followed his daughter but added that he does not want to say which party they belong to because he believes the party’s leader does not approve. He said that he has learned that members of certain foreign services have taken photographs of his older son at his job where he is “an ordinary worker with a salary of 500 Euros”. “I think that is because of the atmosphere which is being created and to suck up to some people on social networks. I do not suck up to anyone, I conduct policies,” he said.
Commenting the threats against his daughter, Vucic said he hopes they’re not from someone dangerous who can harm her but added that the whole thing is having an effect on her feelings and rejected claims that he orchestrated the threats for political reasons. He said he had been under surveillance for on and off for 24 years and showed documents which he said were about wire-tapping of himself and people he communicated with to the end of 2004.
He said the oldest document was an order by then Serbian State Security Service (RDB) chief Jovica Stanisic dated December 11, 1995. “The measures against me started with Stanisic’s decision in December 1995 and (Serbian Radical Party – SRS leader) Vojislav Seselj was probably right when he said that happened after he returned from jail in Gnjilane. I was singled out as an advocate of the destruction of constitutional order, of working with Seselj and Tomislav Nikolic (then SRS deputy leader) to organize para-military formations to take power,” Vucic, a former ranking official of the SRS, said adding that it was a purely political decision.
Vucic said the surveillance was ended in December 2000 but was reinstated by the Security Information Agency (BIA – successor to the RDB) chief without a court order because of alleged underworld links after the assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic. He said his communication with foreign embassy staff continued. “By keeping track of them, they knew what I was doing in terms of foreign affairs and that is all OK. I never complained about that but I am very proud that my hostile activities against Serbia were never proven up to 2000 and in the later period when they found no relevant information about the Djindjic assassination,” he said.
The president said that transcripts of monitored conversations never appeared in public while he was coordinator of the security services. “People have to be protected from those things. Who are we to jeopardize anyone’s rights. Our political opponents started talking about that topic because they don’t know what to do. Unlike them, we do not do wire-tapping,” he said.