The Belgrade Centre for Security Policy researcher Bojan Elek said today that it is uncertain when the Serbian government will appoint the directors of the Security Information Agency (BIA) and the police.
Serbia’s Interior Ministry has been without a police director for 11 months, since Vladimir Rebic retired, and the BIA has been without a director for a month, since Bratislav Gasic was appointed police minister.
Elek told the Beta news agency that an experienced operative and police expert should be appointed as director of the police, but that “there is no professional police here”.
“The fact that we do not have a police director affects police integrity more than operational work.” The government of Serbia will choose a supporter as the director of the police, as they have all been so far,” Elek said.
Asked by Beta how the work of the police will be affected if an expert is not appointed as director, Elek said that the police are under great influence of political power, “so whoever is appointed will not be allowed by the authorities to work professionally”.
“It is absolutely certain that this time again someone who carries out political orders will be put in charge of the police”, Elek said.
Elek said that instead of a professional, someone close to the government will be put in charge of the BIA.
“I do not think that Aleksandar Vulin or Marko Đurić will be appointed as the director of the BIA, as has been speculated in public so far.” Vulin is controversial because of his close relations with Russian security services and resistance from the West. “The BIA is a key institution for capturing the country and someone trusted by the party in power will be appointed at its head,” he said.
According to him, the BIA will continue to be susceptible to political abuses.
“In the past period, many people close to the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) were employed in BIA without a competition. The service will continue to illegally eavesdrop on non-regime journalists and opposition politicians. Both BIA and the police will remain extended arms of the regime, while citizens will not be able to expect any positive change as far as their personal safety is concerned,” concluded Bojan Elek./Beta