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Serbian President Says Missing Investigative Journalist Found


Stefan Cvetkovic had repeatedly complained in recent years of receiving death threats from what he said were politically connected "tycoon potentates."

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic says an investigative journalist who was reported missing two days ago near the Romanian border has been located and that is being questioned by the authorities.

Vucic's announcement at a June 15 news conference in Belgrade came two days after Stefan Cvetkovic, 47, disappeared while reportedly investigating the unsolved murder of a Kosovo Serb leader in January.

His disappearance triggered a statement of concern from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), while dozens of police officers aided by a helicopter had searched the area where his vehicle was found with the lights on and the driver's door open. Divers were searching a lake nearby.

Vucic, who spoke alongside Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic and Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) chief Bratislav Gasic, told the news conference that Cvetkovic was "currently under interrogation because there is a lot for him to explain."

He declined to provide further details on the matter.

Cvetkovic's car was found abandoned on the outskirts of his hometown of Bela Crkva.
Cvetkovic's car was found abandoned on the outskirts of his hometown of Bela Crkva.

Cvetkovic's disappearance was reported late on June 13, after his car was found abandoned on the outskirts of his hometown of Bela Crkva, some 100 kilometers east of Belgrade.

The journalist had repeatedly complained in recent years of receiving death threats from what he said were politically connected "tycoon potentates." In 2008, he was beaten up by unknown assailants.

Vucic said on June 14 that all existing resources had been made available to the investigation.

In a June 14 statement, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir voiced his concern following Cvetkovic's disappearance.

"I'm deeply worried by Cvetkovic's disappearance and urge the Serbian authorities to do their utmost to find him," Desir said.

Journalist associations say Cvetkovic had recently been covering sensitive topics such as the murder of Kosovo Serb leader Oliver Ivanovic, who was shot dead in January.

Ivanovic's assassination in the Serb-dominated northern part of the Kosovar city of Mitrovica raised tensions and prompted the suspension of EU-facilitated talks between Kosovo and Serbia. His killing remains unsolved.

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