The KRIK investigative network said on Friday that Israeli national Tal Hanan was behind the false claims used by Serbian pro-regime media to launch a campaign against opposition leader Dragan Djilas.
KRIK said that it worked with the OCCRP international journalists’ network and found that Hanan was behind the claims that Djilas had bank accounts in a bank in Mauritius. According to the network, Hanan works in the shadows to fix elections, produce false news and discredit rivals of his clients.
The campaign started after Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told the pro-regime TV Pink that his political opponent Djilas had bank accounts on Mauritius and in Switzerland. Under the law, Serbian nationals cannot open bank accounts outside the country if they are resident in Serbia without permission from the National Bank of Serbia (NBS). Djilas was not prosecuted for the alleged accounts.
The two-week pro-regime media campaign resulted in Djilas filing charges against state officials and Vecernje Novosti tabloid editorial staff for fabricating the documents. The prosecution threw out the suit.
KRIK and OCCRP said they had access to the document allegedly showing Djilas’ bank accounts and others drafted by Hanan about a Mongolian businessman. Two people who know the Israeli confirmed that Hanan was behind the documents.
The two investigative networks said that they discovered that Israeli political consultant Aron Shaviv introduced Hanan to the Serbian authorities. Shaviv was engaged for the 2017 election campaign by the Serbian authorities. However, Shaviv denied having worked with Hanan.