Serbian PM takes lie detector test over tabloid claims

Serbian Premier Aleksandar Vucic walks past People's Liberation Army honor guards during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on Nov 26, 2015.
Serbian Premier Aleksandar Vucic walks past People's Liberation Army honor guards during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on Nov 26, 2015. PHOTO: EPA

BELGRADE (AFP) - Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic on Sunday (Nov 29) passed a lie detector test that he took voluntarily over local tabloid allegations of involvement in a blackmailing affair.

"The premier took upon his own initiative a lie detector test after Kurir published very serious charges that he had rejected," Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic told a press conference.

The daily published on Sunday the content of a criminal report submitted to prosecutors by Kurir's former director Aleksandar Kornic. The latter alleged that leading figures from another tabloid, Informer, were involved in the blackmailing affair involving Vucic as well.

Vucic went to police after the article was published and decided to undergo a test.

"The lie detector showed that he (Vucic) was telling the truth," the minister said, adding its results proved that Vucic never met with Kornic.

"It is evident that these lies targeting the prime minister aim at destabilising the country .... which we will succeed in preventing by all means," Stefanovic, flanked by a dozen members of special police, some hooded, told reporters.

President Tomislav Nikolic and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic made similar statements earlier Sunday.

A man close to criminal circles was arrested on Sunday after he was seen eight times within the past 24 hours near the premier's residence in Belgrade, the interior minister said.

Vucic, a former ultra-nationalist turned pro-European, was elected in 2014.