Šabić: Inappropriate remarks about Savamala by Vučić

Šabić: Inappropriate remarks about Savamala by Vučić

Belgrade, October 7, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

Commissioner Rodoljub Šabić said that the disclosing of the name of the prosecutor in the Savamala case did not affect the conduct of the proceedings.

The commissioner for information of public importance and personal data protection pointed out that the statements made by the Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić and President of the Serbian Assembly Maja Gojković about the issue were inappropriate and had no ground in law or fact.

Commenting on Vučić’s statement that the disclosing of the name indicates that double standards apply in Serbia and proves that certain individuals can put pressure on independent state bodies and Maja Gojković’s statement that the disclosure is dangerous and outrageous, Šabić noted that “neither the prime minister’s reference to some sort of ‘double standards’ nor the president’s ‘outrageous’ have any ground in law or fact.”

Adding that he did not pose the question of whether such comments made by the highest state officials represent an attempt to influence the work of an independent controlling authority, the commissioner pointed out that the disclosing of the case number and the name of the acting officeholder in no way affected its independence.

“This, of course, does not affect or guide the proceedings in any direction, not even for example toward ‘the idiots from the top of city government’, which the prime minister felt free to do,” the commissioner said.

Šabić also said that his decision that this information should be disclosed did not manifest any “double standards” nor anything unusual, and most certainly not “outrageous,” but rather the consistent practice of the commissioner reiterated over several years and a number of decisions, based on the standards contained in our law and those that are generally accepted in the democratic world.

“The commissioner is of the view that the authorities have long been bound to – on their own and without any intervention by the commissioner – give the public much more information about the case, which rightfully incites an increasing interest among both the domestic and foreign public,” Šabić added.

MOST leader Božo Petrov said that the agreement was “a kind of compromise”. “Based on the last three weeks of negotiations, we believe that this will be a stable government, and that it will be a government that really wants for changes to happen”, said Petrov. He congratulated HDZ and Plenković because they accepted the seven guarantees that MOST demanded. He added that the agreement reached was “good for both sides”.

Asked which ministries would belong to MOST, Plenković said that it was agreed that MOST would have a deputy prime minister who will at the same time be Minister of Administration, and that it will have three more ministers – in the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy. “Energy portfolio will be merged with the Ministry of Environmental Protection”, he said.

Asked how many MPs’ signatures of support he had, Plenković replied that MOST would give 15 signatures, and that in the end he would perhaps have more than 90 signatures. “Maybe some more will arrive by Monday when I will meet with the President”, said Plenković. Petrov confirmed that MOST would give 15 signatures, but did not give further details. MOST has 13 elected MPs, and there is one former Živi Zid MP who has announced he would enter the MOST Parliamentary Group. It is not clear at the moment who is the 15th MP.

Petrov explained why they insisted on the speakership. “We did not want the three most important posts in Croatia to belong to the same party. I think that is good for democracy and democratic system in Croatia. On the other hand, we wanted to finally have the speakership because we wanted to build trust with the other side”, said Petrov. He denied that MOST wanted to use the post to control HDZ. “It is not about any kind of control. The fact that the Speaker is the person who makes decisions about parliamentary agenda is a factor which will give a further impetus for reforms to happen”, explained Petrov.

Source: B92