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What is the president of the municipality allowed to?

pescanik grockaThe news that the president of the Belgrade municipality of Grocka was arrested for ordering an attack (which has elements of attempted murder) against local journalist Milan Jovanović, is goodsurprise. Namely, it seemed to repeat the scenario of relativizing and covering up the guilt, same as in the case of demolition in Savamala and despite the obvious inevitable participation of state officialsin a criminal event, employees in lower positions will be responsible and willeven not be punished. Thus, in case of the refusal of police to protect citizens and their property in Savamala, prosecutor's office marked police chief as the sole responsible, and even his sentence was conditional and just below the border through which the job would be lost. Also, the proceeding for the burning of the house of Žig Info portal journalist from Grocka was determined with a conditional sentence for executor, marking of a person who has no uncleaned bills with journalist.

The circumstance that this news was announced by the President of the State (which does not belong to his responsibilities)and in an emergency address to citizens, upon his return from the World Economic Forum in Davos, is another blow to the rule of law, certainly not unexpected. If until now it has not been clear if the public prosecutor is not the only one who is responsible for the conduction of the investigation in this case, the fact that the President published news of the arrest is the confirmation of that.

Motives for this sudden turn can easily be derived from the fact that the conference was convened immediately after returning from Davos, where President Vučić participated at the panel on freedom of media and met with European officials. It should also be recalled that the poor assessment of the state of freedom of expression and media in Serbia was clearly announced in the last part of European Commission Report on Serbia.

Therefore, his personal address can also be understood as drawing attention of EU officials to the fact that there is a political will to investigate the attack on a journalist. Maybe foreign officials would not even consider the statement of another official or institution in Serbia, because they, as well as the citizens of Serbia, receive messages for years, that the answersto all essential questions depend on the will of only one man. His presidential address may have one good side - local officers understand that their power is limited and that their loyalty does not provide protection from everything that comes to their minds.

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