BELGRADE - Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has said on Tuesday that it has been ascertained that the Pescanik website was attacked from two IP addresses, and underscored that the state had no part in the cyber attack.
The Pescanik website carries analyses and opinions by human rights activists, journalists, distinguished public figures, professionals and academicians.
Vucic told reporters at the Serbian government that, after all that had happened recently, he suspected that the Pescanik website was attacked and taken down, and that he was proven right.
It has also been established where the attacks came from and that the state had no part in this, he said.
The prime minister said that the state would investigate all such cases and disclose who was behind them.
"When the investigation is done, the public will be fully informed about that," the prime minister said.
Referring to the analysis published on the Pescanik website that suggested that Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic's PhD thesis contained some plagiarized passages, the prime minister noted that this was the most ridiculous explanation he had ever seen.
"This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read," Vucic said, adding that Education Minister Srdjan Verbic agreed with his remark.
The prime minister said that if someone wanted to attack Stefanovic, they could have done it in a much better and smarter way.
When asked whether the interior minister would resign if accusations of plagiarism proved true, Vucic said that Stefanovic would surely know what to do.
According to Vucic, it is Serbia's obligation to secure conditions for work of all non-governmental organizations, as well as Commissioner for Information of Public Importance Rodoljub Sabic, Ombudsman Sasa Jankovic, and the Anti-Corruption Agency.
OSCE has no evidence for claims of censorship in Serbia
It is important to me that it has been established that I have been telling the truth, that I have been right and that the representatives of the OSCE have given no evidence at all for their claims, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said Tuesday regarding an apology that he requested from the OSCE the day before concerning their claims of media censorship in Serbia.
In my talks with OSCE representatives, I have raised questions about teleprompter.rs and the Blic blog six times receiving no answer at all, Vucic said responding to reporters’ questions in the Serbian government, adding that Blic acted fair and that they themselves said that it all has nothing to do with censorship.
Vucic said that he and the OSCE representatives had agreed that censorship must not be allowed and that the Serbian government would take all measures to prevent it, as for example in the case of the pescanik.net website, which had been attacked recently.
He said that it had been ascertained that the Pescanik website had been attacked from two IP addresses, stressing that the state had had no part in the cyber attack and that he was proven right.
The prime minister said that the state would investigate all such cases and disclose who had been behind them.
On Monday, Vucic requested that OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic apologize for her claims of censorship in Serbia, asking her to supply even a single piece of evidence to corroborate the claim that the Serbian government had disabled the websites drugastrana.com and teleprompter.rs or taken down anyone's blog from the website of the daily newspaper Blic, adding that no such evidence had been given.
Vucic: We will see what is best for Kosovo elections
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said Tuesday that he would meet with representatives of Kosovo-Metohija (KiM) Serbs to discuss parliamentary elections in the province called for June 8.
Vucic told reporters that he did not consider some decisions by the Kosovo’s Central Election Commission (CEC) to be commonsensical, but it would also not be good for Serbs not to take part in the elections.
“We need to behave responsibly and in accordance with the state interests and the Serbian government will make a decision of that kind,” Vucic said.
He said that the presidents of the municipalities in KiM would receive instructions and he was confident that they would know how to pass them over to the Serbian people.
The election campaign in KiM began on May 28 and on its very first day, the Serb representatives froze their participation due to controversial decisions the CEC made earlier in the election preparations.
The CEC decided that the ballots should carry the symbols of ‘the Republic of Kosovo’, unilaterally proclaimed independent by ethnic Albanians in the province and not recognized as such by Serbia, and that the polling staffs south of municipalities of the Ibar river are not to comprise Serb representatives.
Representatives of Serbs from KiM have requested that any symbols of Kosovo statehood be removed from the ballots, as it constitutes a violation of the Brussels agreement, which stipulates status neutrality in the process of normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina.
In addition, they demand the discriminatory decision by the CEC to be repealed and that the Serbs be given the right to have poling staff representatives in the municipalities south of the Ibar, just as the Albanians have the right to serve as polling officials in the majority-Serb municipalities in the north of the southern Serbian province.
Assesment together with international organizations
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said Tuesday that Serbia would carry out the assessment of damage caused by the recent massive floods in the country together with the EU, UN, World Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to be able to go public with the result “clean as a whistle.”
Speaking about priorities in the reconstruction of buildings and infrastructure destroyed by the floods, Vucic told reporters that the Serbian government had issued a decree on Tuesday contracting the Public Enterprise Roads of Serbia for works on the restoration of all public and private roads, a top priority job as the harvest season was approaching.
Next in order of importance are repairs to facilities, and restoring the energy sector, the prime minister said.
All these works will to be financed from the budgets of the Republic of Serbia and local governments, Vucic said, stressing that no moneys from the donations and aid that have arrived have been used yet.
Vucic said that the moneys were being received in transparent processes and all was being published on relevant websites.
Photo S. Radovanovic, Tanjug