Serbia’s opposition Party of Freedom and Justice (SSP) deputy leader and an MP Marinika Tepic accused on Tuesday President Aleksandar Vucic and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic of “hiding for months” a US document warning about an arms dealer who the paper said was “a direct danger to international stability and security,” while the Foreign Minister said it was a lie, the Beta news agency reported.
Tepic said that a note, delivered to Dacic “in October,” warned about the influence, it said, Slobodan Tesic, known arms trader, had on Serbia’s political system. She added the note confirmed all she had been saying “about Tesic and his links with Aleksandar Vucic. It was Vucic who enabled Tesic to broker the state arms trade in a corrupt way.”
“The political connections and influence Slobodan Tesic has on the authorities in Serbia led to a recommendation that Serbia should not join the Wassenaar Arrangement,” on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, Tepic said.
Tesic hired Serbia’s lawyer’s firm Tomanovic and the US-based "Wilmer Hale." They launched a procedure of taking Tesic of the US Treasury Department ‘blacklist’ in cooperation with the ‘most prestigious’ US financial forensics experts, the firm said, adding Tesic worked in line with a law and regulations.
She added that “the brain behind the destruction of the arms industry to be later privatised is Aleksandar Vucic.”
"It is important for us to know that people like Slobodan Tesic influence Serbia’s political system and decision-making process, but I’m not a police officer or prosecutor, but an MP whose duty is to ask questions and demand answers regarding issues crucial to our national security,” Tepic said.
On Monday, the US Treasury Department issued a press release o the occasion of the International Ant-Corruption Day in which named Tesic and nine of associates and the companies they own or control as its targets.
Reacting to Tepic's accusation, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement it was a lie.
"The Ministry is in permanent contact with the US and other countries' embassies on many issues. Slobodan Tesic was discussed in August concerning several things - talking points about the export control, what is not even a non-paper, let alone a note," the statement sent to N1 said.