Serbian police say they are investigating an unexplained car accident involving Predrag Vostinic, a prominent opposition activist from Kraljevo, central Serbia.
On Sunday, Vostinic was knocked off his bike by a car with license plates from Novi Sad, a city in northern Serbia. He was hospitalized with fractures to the hand and a head injury.
“Members of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Kraljevo… are intensively working to establish all the facts and circumstances of the traffic accident that happened last night, at around 7:30 p.m., in Adrane, near Kraljevo, in which a forty-eight-year-old cyclist was injured,” said a police announcement.
Police have so far determined that the 24-year-old driver of the car was driving under the influence of alcohol. Prosecutors ordered an additional analysis.
Predrag Vostinic is a prominent member of Local Front (LF), an opposition activist group. His lawyer, Vladimir Beocanin, said many held suspicions that the attack was politically motivated.
“[The car accident] is strange. The driver first tried to push him when he went around him [Vostinic], then he did a semi-circle across the roundabout and went again at him, even though he [Vostinic] was in the opposite direction of the car,“ Beocanin told reporters.
“Vostinic is a prominent figure in Kraljevo. This needs to be examined properly,” he continued.
Beocanin is also a member of LF.
Beocanin said he had obtained information that the suspect is a cadet of the Novi Sad police academy.
“What was he doing in Kraljevo and is he really working for the police, or just studying to become one? We don’t know at this point. That all needs to be established,” Beocanin said.
The Local Front organization campaigns to expose corruption in the municipality. In 2016, LF entered the Kraljevo town assembly after winning 6 percent of the votes, crossing the threshold for acceptance.
LF gained even wider recognition in January 2019 after activists from the group organized the “Ibar March.” The event saw protesters march 150 kilometers from Kraljevo to Belgrade to join a demonstration marking the anniversary of the murder of Kosovo Serb opposition politician Oliver Ivanovic.
Oliver Ivanovic, the leader of the Serb “Freedom, Democracy, Justice” party, was shot dead in January 2018. The shooting took place outside his party headquarters. At the time of his death, the politician was awaiting retrial after having been found guilty of involvement in the deaths of ten Albanians during Kosovo’s war of independence from Serbia.
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