Belgrade: Criminal charges for illegally collected data on football players Shaqiri and Behrami

Dzaka, Saciri and Behrami
Dzaka, Saciri and Behrami

The Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection of the Republic of Serbia submitted a criminal charge to the First Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office in Belgrade on suspicion that one or more unknown officials of the Serbian MIA illegally collected personal data on the two football players from the Swiss national team of Kosovo origin, with identification papers of the Republic of Serbia – Xherdan Shaqiri and Valon Behrami.

On June 21st, the tabloid newspaper Informer published an article titled „(PHOTO) THEY ARE NOT SWISS, THEY ARE SERBS! Shaqiri and Behrami have SERBIAN CITIZENSHIP!“, and photographs of the birth certificate and citizenship of the two players, which other media also reported later. These birth certificates and citizenships were issued by the civil service of the city administrations of Vranje and Kraljevo on the same day when the article was published.

The documents were issued by the city administration at the official request of the Police Department for Gnjilane and Kosovska Mitrovica

During the supervision procedure, these city administrations informed the Commissioner that they issued the documents to the Police Department for Gnjilane, relocated to Vranje and the Police Department for Kosovska Mitrovica, relocated to Kraljevo, on the basis of their official requests.

The MIA did not respond even after the deadline expired, even as a matter of urgency

The Commissioner – as the statement read – asked for an explanation as to whether the Ministry of Interior Affairs has submitted these documents to the Informer or any other media, and on what basis it performed the personal data processing.

But even after the expiration of the deadline and notification of urgency on the matter, the Commissioner did not receive the MIA’s response.

„Without going into, until the MIA’s statement, whether there was any basis for processing data in this case, it is quite certain that the redistribution of this data in order to secure „juicy“ topics – for tabloids, or other media, cannot be in harmony with the law. That it represents a gross abuse of power, and that all the above-mentioned circumstances indicate a reasonable suspicion that in the actions of one or more unnamed officers of the Ministry of Interior Affair there is every element of the criminal offense of unauthorized collection of personal data (Article 146 of the Criminal Law), for which the official on duty will be sentenced to up to three years in prison,“ the Commissioner said in a statement.

The Commissioner, with respect to his authority over the media and the guarantee of the secrecy of journalistic sources, did not carry out any proceedings against Informer or other media.

Preuzimanje i objavljivanje tekstova sa portala KoSSev nije dozvoljeno bez navođenja izvora. Hvala na poštovanju etike novinarske profesije.