The Belgrade-based Bureau for Social Research (BIRODI) said on Friday that an organized crime prosecutor had been named to investigate its report on the Regulatory Body for Electronic Media (REM).
A BIRODI press release said that its report was filed with the Serbian Republic Public Prosecutor who passed it to the Public Prosecutor for Organized Crime to process. “We have been informed by the Public Prosecutor for Organized Crime that a public prosecutor has been named and has started acting on the case,” the press release said.
The REM Council and its chief Olivera Zekic have been heavily criticized by the political opposition and independent media for not reacting to violations of the Law on Electronic Media, journalists’ code while the authorities and pro-regime media have fiercely defended that body which is supposed to be an independent watchdog under Serbian law.
BIRODI monitors the media among other things, including analyses of reporting on the authorities, opposition and issues of national importance.
The press release said that BIRODI will provide more evidence of REM’s violations of the law and its own code of conduct.
“The initiative is aimed at improving the work of the REM as the supreme media authority and the sanctioning of its failure to implement the law is the first step in its institutional and personnel reform which does not end with dismissals in the REM Council but with sanctions against all those who are found to have broken the law, regulations and codes,” it said.
BIRODI said its report was also filed with the Anti-Corruption Agency.