Serbian Officers Who Exposed Alleged ‘State-Protected’ Drug Farm Removed from Their Posts
Prominent Serbian police officers, Slobodan Milenkovic and Dusan Mitic, have been officially removed from their positions following their significant involvement in the discovery of the infamous “Jovanjica” illegal cannabis production farm, which was purported to be protected by state security officials. This shocking development in Serbia’s law enforcement arena was announced on the 28th of August by the legal counsel representing these officers. Consequently, Milenkovic is no longer spearheading the Belgrade Police Department for the fight against drugs, while Mitic has been relieved from his position as the head of operations in this unit.
Implications and Reactions
This surprising change in formal roles is a multifaceted issue according to the Tomanovic law office, which has announced that their clients were transferred to less significant positions outside their former department. The office condemns this decision as a hindrance to the continuation of the investigation. Further asserting that it prominently symbolizes retaliation against these brave officers and strategically applied pressure anticipating their upcoming testimonies.
Discovery of the ‘Jovanjica’ Cannabis Farm
The genesis of this complex issue dates back to 2019 when these officers discovered the illicit cannabis farm. Their thorough and professional investigation led to them uncovering more than 660 kilograms of dried cannabis. The consequent legal proceedings have led to the promulgation of two separate indictments.
The Dual Faces of the ‘Jovanjica’ Indictments
The first indictment, dubbed the “Jovanjica 1” case, which is currently undergoing trial, emphasizes illegal cannabis production. In contrast, the sequel “Jovanjica 2” sheds light on the supposed state security links to the farm. Predrag Koluvija, identified as the owner of the farm, is the primary suspect in both these cases, accused of leading a criminal organization. The indictment maintains that the illegal cannabis operation relied on at least five members from the police, military and security services, who provided Koluvija with fraudulent law enforcement identification, insider intel, and security for his operation.
Officer Testimony and Public Outcry
An unresolved preliminary hearing on the second indictment, where state officers stand accused, continues to cause outrage. As key witnesses, both Milenkovic and Mitic are fundamental to the trial against Koluvija and his associates involved in the illegal marijuana production. Mitic’s previous testimony implicated Serbia’s current Interior Minister, Bratislav Gasic, in the scandal who is accused of influencing a smear campaign against the two officers. Public sentiments have been ignited as both policemen have been labeled “criminals” by state officials and have been the subjects of an aggressive pro-government media campaign. The law office representing the officers has also expressed concern about the officers’ personal safety, exacerbating the controversy’s repercussions.
The Battle Continues
As the controversy intensifies, the battle against government corruption and for the preservation of these officers’ professional integrity remains steadfast. The situation not only impacts state officials but also serves as a wake-up call to citizens about the potential hidden aspects of those who enforce their laws and protections.
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