According to an article the Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK) published on its web portal on July 22, Vejko Belivuk, the leader of a criminal group suspected of a number of brutal murders, had denied the murder charges during the hearing at the Prosecutor’s Office held two weeks prior, while claiming that the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and his associates had demanded several favors from him.
In the transcript of Belivuk’s hearing, which KRIK had come in possession of, it says that Vucic and his associates demanded from Belivuk to control the Partizan hooligans and make sure they did not chant against the country leader during the matches; to intimidate the organizers of the protests against the regime; to ensure peace at the Pride Parade, and to persuade the taxi drivers to call off their protest against the CarGo app-based ride-sharing services.
During the hearing held at the Prosecutor’s Office on July 5, Belivuk stated that he is not a head of a crime group but a leader of the Partizan football supporters, and denied responsibility for the murders, kidnappings and drug trafficking he is charged with. Although he refused to answer the prosecutor’s questions about the charges, he freely volunteered information about his relationship with the authorities, KRIK wrote in its post.
“I’ve decided to tell you all about my relationship with the president of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, [Interior Minister] Aleksandar Vulin, Vucic’s brother and friends, and all other politicians who demanded favors from us and who now act as if they don’t know us and who wash their hands of us,” Belivuk told the prosecutor.
“Although it is not easy to tell facts from fiction in Belivuk’s account, certain elements match with what has been assumed before – that his group played a part in the suppression of protests [against the regime], as well as [the group’s] connections with the authorities. In his statement, Belivuk, however, did not mention all of the individuals on the police force and in the [Serbian Progressive Party] who, according to journalists’ earlier findings, he was also close with,” it said in the KRIK’s report.