Aleksic in EP: The regime targeting United Media

NEWS 23.11.2022 21:43

Addressing the European Parliament on Wednesday, head of the opposition People’s Party (NS) MP caucus in the Serbian Parliament Miroslav Aleksic appealed to the European Union (EU) to be as loud when commenting issues that are important to the Serbian people as it is when stressing the need for Serbia to align with its foreign and security policy. He said the media within the United Media group are being targeted by the regime because the “disloyal competition,” the state-run Telekom, is fighting against them in order “to continue manipulating and shaping the public opinion in Serbia, without the interference of any independent television station or media.”

Aleksic told a meeting of the EU-Serbia Stabilization and Association Parliamentary Committee (SAPC) held in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday that the EU not being equally loud about these issues is certainly one of the reasons why the support of the Serbian people for the EU has been on the decline, said the People’s Party (NS).

Aleksic said that Serbia has not advanced on the European path because, since 2014, only two chapters have been temporarily closed.

“Basic EU values such as democracy, the rule of law and the honoring of human rights are threatened in Serbia today, just like an independent and quality judiciary system and an efficient fight against crime and corruption, which are prerequisites for establishing a democratic order,” the NS quoted Aleksic as saying.

He said that, in the past ten years, “crime and corruption are being nurtured and are flourishing” in Serbia, “instead of being suppressed.”

“What is particularly worrying is that there are clear signs that the top state officials are involved in organized crime, and that the trials against the most serious perpetrators are taking extremely long and are obstructed by the government,” said Aleksic.

He said one of the best examples of this is the case of the Jovanjica farm on which the largest plantation of marijuana in Europe was discovered, when several tons of marijuana and 60,000 cannabis plants were seized.

“The police who took part in this operation had no support whatsoever from the state authorities. These police officers are now being targeted by the state and the regime, they are being persecuted in the regime-sponsored tabloid press and threatened with murder, they are being followed by the Security-Intelligence Agency (BIA), and some of them have been arrested,” said Aleksic.

He added that, on the other hand, the state officials who visited this farm and who knew the owner, Predrag Koluvija, and were friends with him, including some ministers, are strongly defending him and are obstructing the trial.

“Yesterday evidence was excluded on 600 kilos of marihuana while a different trial involving members of the security structures – BIA, the Military Intelligence Agency (VOA) and the Interior Ministry – has not even begun,” Aleksic said.

“This issue and many others that have to do with crime and corruption such as trade in arms produced by the state company Krusik, public companies Telekom and the Serbian Electric Power Company, the privatization of the PKB, Veljko Belivuk’s criminal group – these are all issues that the public learned about thanks to the few free media that can carry a message to the people,” said Aleksic.