|On the night of the attack, Vladimir Kovacevic had been covering the latest “Justice for David” protest in the city. Photo: EPA-EFE/VLADIMIR STOJKOVIC|
Republika Srpska Interior Minister Dragan Lukac on Monday said local police had arrested a suspect in the case related to the attack on journalist Vladimir Kovacevic on August 26.
“Kovacevic recognized the attacker,” Darko Culum, RS Police Director, said at the press conference.
The attacker, who is identified only with his initials M.C., was born in 1987 and has not yet spoken to the media.
Lukac said that at this point he could not discuss the motive for the attack. But he insisted that no one from the RS government was involved. He said the police would continue to investigate any links with other politicians in the RS.
Kovacevic, a journalist at BN TV, one of the main channels in Republika Srpska, was attacked on in front of his home in Banja Luka, the administrative centre of the entity.
Kovacevic said that two persons attacked him with telescopic metal bats. He spent several days in hospital because of the beating and the resulting injuries.
The District Prosecutor’s Office is treating the attack as attempted murder.
On the night when he was beaten up, Kovacevic had been covering the latest “Justice for David” protest in the city.
For more than three months, the parents of David Dragicevic and other citizens held public protests, trying to force the authorities to resolve the case of the unexplained death of the 21-year-old.
Dragicevic’s body was discovered in late March in shallow water in the river Crkvena, not far from the centre of Banja Luka.
Police in the entity have failed to resolve the case, which has been at the centre of public attention ever since, in both the RS and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
After the attack, Bosnian journalists staged protests demanding an end to violence against media workers. This year alone, over 40 attacks on journalists in Bosnia have been recorded.