The Serbian Anti-Corruption Agency ruled on Monday that there was no conflict of interest in the fact that the father of Internal Affairs Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic, Branko was involved in the purchase of munitions from the state-owned Krusik arms plant.
The involvement of the minister’s father was revealed by a whistleblower from Krusik who leaked documents showing that Branko Stefanovic was acting on behalf of the privately-owned GIM company which bought mortar shells at privileged prices and re-sold them to a Saudi buyer. The shells are reported to have ended up in the hands of Islamic extremists in the Yemen.
The Agency said in a statement that Branko Stefanovic was not the owner nor legal representative nor was he employed or engaged in any way by GIM.
Nova Stranka leader Zoran Zivkovic said that the Anti-Corruption Agency ruling that there are no grounds to launch proceedings against Minister Stefanovic’s father is a farce, adding that there is every reason to launch proceedings even though there is no formal link on paper between GIM and Stefanovic.
The Agency also ruled that the GIM purchase of munitions from Krusik did not represent a conflict of interest for Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic, that it could not affect the his unbiased and independent performance of his duties and that there was no dependency that ministers have to avoid.
“The agency did not analyze the way in which arms prices are formed on the market since it determined that there was no relationship that Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic should avoid in his public duties,” the Agency said.