Serbia's Fin Min: If ministers are not 'sacred cows,' why NGOs should be?

Serbia's Fin Min: If ministers are not 'sacred cows,' why NGOs should be?

Serbia's Fin Min: If ministers are not 'sacred cows,' why NGOs should be? Izvor: Printscreen/Tanjug

Serbia's Finance Ministry's Department for Preventing Money Laundering is not selective in its work, it has investigated the property and accounts of the current ministers, and the risk of the non-profitable sector was looked into last year and no one had said it was a chase, Zeljko Radovanovic, the Department's Director said late on Tuesday.

His comment was the first official reaction that followed a protest by the media people and NGOs who said the announced probe was pressure on those critical of the authorities.

The media and civil society organisations, individuals, an MEP, the opposition parties in Serbia and the European Union warned that unjustified investigations should not be launched.

 "I'm a professional and do my job responsibly. The department had investigated for several months the property and personal accounts of four current ministers," he told state Tanjug news agency.

He added he was obliged by secrecy, but "if the Parliament allows me, I have no problem to publish their names."

"However,  if the ministers are not 'sacred cows,' why would the NGOs be?" he asked, adding that "there is no discrimination in the work of the Department."

"We carried out such activities last year, and 41 non-profit organisations were supervised by the Working Group, and no one described them as a hunt," Radovanovic said.

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