Belgrade weekly says top security agency aware of all wire-tapping

NEWS 18.03.2021 09:41
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Source: Tanjug/Rade Prelić

Belgrade weekly NIN said on Thursday that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’s telephone conversations could not have been monitored by anyone without the country’s top security agency knowing about it.

According to NIN’s sources, both on and off the record, any wire-tapping of the president could not have been done without the Security Information Agency (BIA) knowing about it. The weekly recalled that Vucic’s trusted associate Bratislav Gasic was head of the BIA.

It said that the president, his brother Andrej, son Danilo and his father Andjelko had their conversations recorded because they spoke to people who were being investigated with permission from the courts.

NIN said that former Internal Affairs Ministry (MUP) State Secretary Dijana Hrkalovic was questioned as part of the investigation into who wire-tapped the president and told investigators that she does not recall being handed any transcripts of the president’s conversations or anyone else who was using a protected phone to talk to people under investigation. She said that Criminal Police Department chiefs and officers decided who to wire-tap in cooperation with prosecutors. Hrkalovic said that she knows that the BIA has a monitoring center which can listen to anyone that the police are wire-tapping and that the agency has jurisdiction over protected phones.

Her lawyer Sead Spahovic also told NIN that no one can be under surveillance with the BIA knowing about, legally or illegally. “The BIA is also bound to protect the president and if he was in danger it would be the fault of the BIA, not the MUP. The police are not investigating this because of the campaign being waged by the authorities,” he said.