Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin said on July 23 that the defense of arrested criminal group leader Veljko Belivuk was "political" and was such because "the investigation against him is serious," adding that he was responsible for five murders, abductions and drug dealing.
"With this he has attempted to blackmail Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and a few of us, so that they would not get life sentences," Vulin told state TV RTS.
Vulin also said that the fact that he had publicized photographs of the victims of the crimes Belivuk's group was suspected of could not jeopardize the investigation and that it had been necessary. "Imagine if they were not publicized, if we did not know any of that but only had Belivuk's statement, maybe we really are criminals. For months we have been hearing that there are no witnesses, evidence," said Vulin.
"If we had not publicized (the photographs), Belivuk would be a hero today. Even now they are turning him into a hero with pictures of him slaughtering a man, what would happen if those photographs did not exist," said Vulin.
Regarding claims that Belivuk had been helping the authorities, which the KRIK portal has published as an excerpt from Belivuk's statement to the prosecution, Vulin said that "KRIK has attempted to make a saint out of Belivuk."