Serbian minister denies father’s involvement in arms exports

NEWS 18.09.201911:19
Tanjug/Sava Radovanović

Serbian Internal Affairs Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic denied on Wednesday reports that the arms export company GIM was owned by his father Branko.

A report on the Arms Watch investigative portal said that the GIM company was represented by Branko Stefanovic in the purchase of mortar shells from the Krusik plant which ended up in the hands of Islamic extremists in Yemen. Arms Watch blocked access to its site from Serbia following a denial of service attack from Serbia.  

Asked about the documents published by Arms Watch linking GIM to the export of arms to Saudi Arabia which are then sent on to Yemen, Minister Stefanovic said that “it’s just a piece of paper that means nothing”.  

He said that the Arms Watch was not an international portal but a site followed by a hundred or so people.

The Arms Watch report drew reactions from the Serbian Defense and Trade Ministries both of which denied the claims in its report. The story broke in Serbia when former Foreign Minister turned opposition leader Vuk Jeremic told N1 that documents had surfaced about the involvement of Branko Stefanovic in the export of arms which ended up with Islamic extremists. Serbian media also reported that GIM bought mortar shells at preferential prices.