The person who first revealed that the father of the Serbian Interior Minister was involved in arms trade has been arrested, Belgrade weekly NIN reported in its latest issue.
The weekly said that the whistleblower has been identified by the initials A.O. and is an IT expert at the Krusik ammunition plant. He has been charged with disclosing secrets and has been ordered to spend 30 days in prison.
According to NIN, the covert operation to identify and arrest A.O. came after the Arms Watch portal published a report which claimed that Internal Affairs Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic’s father Branko was involved in the purchase of ammunition from Krusik which ended up in the hands of Islamic militants in Yemen. The authorities launched the operation to find out how the compromising documents found their way to Arms Watch.
A.O. was initially ordered into house arrest by a judge who was under huge pressure but the prosecution appealed and A.O. was then transferred jail, NIN reported and added that the Higher Court in Belgrade confirmed the detention order. A.O. is being held at the Belgrade District Jail to prevent escape, a repeat of the crime and possible influence on witnesses.
NIN said that the Internal Affairs Ministry and prosecution did not issue the customary press release.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and Arms Watch both published the document confirming that Branko Stefanovic did go to the Krusik plant. His son, Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic told the media that his father did not own a company called GIM which was named in the document while the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that he saw nothing wrong with the fact that Serbia was selling arms.
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