The case filed against ruling coalition official Dragan Markovic Palma has been ordered transferred out of his home town of Jagodina and into the hands of the Public Prosecution in Kraljevo.
A prosecution statement said that the decision to transfer the case was taken at the suggestion of the Higher Public Prosecution in Jagodina. The investigation was launched following allegations by opposition official Marinika Tepic that women and young girls were solicited to local officials in exchange for jobs and other favors. The prosecution started proceedings at the initiative of Jagodina strongman Dragan Markovic Palma drawing speculation that the case could not be investigated or possibly tried without bias in Jagodina. Jagodina Public Prosecutor Radoslav Vuckovic added to the suspicions by saying that there are no grounds to call for exemption.
Markovic has denied any wrongdoing and has threatened to sue Tepic. A group of almost 400 women working in the local administration in Jagodina filed suit against Tepic, claiming that her allegations offended them.