Accused of endangering the safety of Ana Lalić Hegediš, president of NDNV, has escaped from house arrest

A request was sent to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Serbia to provide protection for the family of our President

04. Jul 2024

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Veran Matić, a member of the Permanent Working Group for Journalists’ Safety, announced today that the accused, who is charged with threatening the safety of journalist and NDNV president Ana Lalić Hegediš and her family, has escaped from house arrest.

The man, born in Smederevska Palanka and residing in Paris, sent threatening, insulting, and hate speech messages via Facebook Messenger on March 11 this year: “I will kill your husband… personally,” “You will leave Serbia soon when I say so, just to see where you go,” “You disgrace Serbia in Croatia,” “You are bothered by churches…” and a very vulgar message, not suitable for quoting, Matić stated in his announcement.

After the report filed by NDNV, the Special Prosecutor’s Office for High-Tech Crime (VTK) located this individual and the place from where the messages were sent, issuing a search warrant. He was arrested upon entering Serbia, where a device with evidence of his criminal act was found.

According to available information, the accused admitted to the crime. The court ordered him not to leave his residence until the main trial and temporarily seized his travel documents, Matić noted.

He added that a hearing was scheduled yesterday at the Higher Court in Belgrade to hear from the accused and review the evidence and confession, along with the transcript of Ana Lalić Hegediš’s testimony.

“The accused did not appear at the main trial yesterday and violated the house arrest measure imposed based on the judge’s decision in the pretrial proceedings, despite the VTK Special Prosecutor’s Office requesting regular custody. There is no information whether he has left the country,” Matić said.

He emphasized the importance of public awareness in Serbia and France about this case, including the perpetrator’s identity, stating that “he has decided not to respect the legal system in Serbia, not just to break the law.”

“He is Saša Ilić, residing in Smederevska Palanka and Paris. His name and surname in the French passport are Ilbert Alexandre. We hope that the authorities of Serbia and France will locate him, detain him, bring him to justice, and not only for the committed criminal offense but also for violating the court’s decision and evading justice,” Matić stated.

Matić also requested the Serbian Ministry of the Interior to provide protection for Ana Lalić Hegediš’s family, as the person who admitted to writing these terrifying threats that imply endangerment of her life is currently on the run.

“I urge colleagues and everyone with information about this person’s whereabouts to report to the Ministry of the Interior at 192 or to the Safe Line SOS phone for reporting threats and violence against journalists at 0800 100 115,” Veran Matić specified.

(NDNV, photo by Aleksandar Kamasi)

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