Serbian president under pressure over son's suspected mafia contacts
Belgrade - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has come under pressure because of his son Danilo's suspected mafia contacts.
The most powerful politician in the country has for two days been complaining about the alleged "witch-hunt" of his 22-year-old son.
"My political opponents fail to defeat me with ideas and programmes, so they try to break me psychologically by attacking my family," he complained on Friday evening on the government-owned TV station TV Prva.
A reporter from the independent research network Krik photographed Danilo Vucic last Wednesday in a central Belgrade pub in the company of a well-known soccer hooligan.
The group he was with was watching a broadcast of the local derby between Red Star Belgrade and Partizan.
The young Vucic had been seen with Aleksandar Vidojevic at least three times in the past. Police investigations are ongoing into his alleged membership in an internationally operating Montenegrin mafia clan.
Vidojevic leads the Partizan Ultras, who call themselves "janissaries" and are regularly linked to acts of violence and vandalism.
Vucic senior defended Vidojevic. "This young man has never been charged with drug-related offences, only for fighting, but he has never been convicted for that either," he said in the one-and-a-half hour television interview.
Parliamentary and municipal elections are scheduled for June 21 in Serbia, with Vucic's right-wing Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) a clear favourite.
Part of the opposition is boycotting the election. Critics accuse Vucic of eliminating the conditions for free elections by repression and misuse of government resources.
Since Vucic also controls much of the media, his son's affairs are not expected to damage him.dpa