Opposition leader Marinika Tepic told Belgrade daily Danas on Friday that the information she disclosed about the sex for favors scandal in the town of Jagodina came from witnesses and victims.
“Everything that I said to date and what we have learned came directly from witnesses and victims,” she said commenting the scandal involving ruling coalition MP and local powermonger in Jagodina Dragan Markovic Palma who has been accused of pimping young girls and women in the sex for favors and jobs affair.
Tepic said that what Markovic was doing in reaction to the accusations is “not the behavior of someone who is not guilty”. Markovic has counter the accusations with claims that he is being harassed because of his political stands. According to some reports, he allegedly forced a group of several hundred women in Jagodina to sue Tepic over her claims that women in that town were being forced to trade sexual favors for jobs and other benefits.
“First he threatened the authorites – his coalition partners – and then the opposition, journalists, everyone… That is pathological,” the deputy leader of the opposition Party of Freedom and Justice (SSP) said. “This is a man who is is power, an MP, using public officials, diplomats and others to protect himself and wash his hands of what happened,” she said.
Danas was told by Markovic that Tepic is lying and that he denied everything he is being accused of. The daily recalled that Tepic told a media conference that the police seized a mobile phone with nude pictures and video of under-age girls allegedly solicited at parties organized by Markovic. That claim was denied by the head of the Jagodina Social Care Center who said that the pictures on the phone were of her daughter.