Mrkonjic May Face Probe in Serbia Corruption Case

Infrastructure Minister may face a corruption probe concerning a case involving the issue of illegal permits.Milutin Mrkonjic, Slobodan Milosevic’s favourite builder in the 1990s and Serbia’s Infrastructure Minister, will be the next target in the government’s fight against corruption, Balkan Insight has learned from two independent sources.

According to the sources, the initial cause for the probe into Mrkonjic is his alleged connection to a case concering the issue of permits for the mounting of optic cables on roads.

The alleged connection dates from the time of previous, Democrat-led government in which Mrkonjic also held the post of Infrastructure Minister.

On Monday, parliament lifted the immunity from prosecution of another minister from the previous government, Oliver Dulic.

The prosecutor’s office requested the revocation of his MP’s immunity in order to run a criminal procedure based on suspicion that Dulic illegally issued permits for the mounting of optic cables on roads.

In a statement to the special prosecutor, Zoran Drobnjak, director of the public enterprise Putevi Srbije, drew a connection between Mrkonjic and the contentious issue of permits to place optical cables on the Batrovci-Belgrade road to the Slovenian company Nuba Invest.

Mrkonjic and Dulic were close friends in the former government.

Mrkonjic became famous after NATO’s armed intervention against Serbia in 1999, when he headed the team involved in the reconstruction of destroyed bridges and roads.

Aleksandar Vucic, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister in charge of corruption, on Tuesday said that he wanted an investigation carried out against an unnamed member of the cabinet.

The day before, he sent an open letter to government members, asking them to back his anti-corruption drive.

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