Former minister says "regime" wants him in jail

BELGRADE -- Oliver Dulić says the draft indictment against him, revealed on Friday, was "a compromise between the prosecution and the executive branch of the government".

Oliver Dulić is seen addressing reporters last week (Beta)
Oliver Dulić is seen addressing reporters last week (Beta)

The former cabinet minister from the ranks of the now opposition Democratic Party (DS), also stated that this "compromise" went to his detriment, and added that he would prove before the court that he "absolutely respected the law".

Dulić is among a group suspected of abusing their official position when permits were issued to a Slovenian company to lay optical cables along Serbia's state roads.

"I think it has been clear that this regime wished to see a former minister in jail, and I think the pressure was obviously of such magnitude that the process had to be taken to the next phase. I believe the charges, that were written very poorly and that absolutely contain no material evidence, should absolutely have been thrown out," he told Beta news agency in Belgrade late on Friday.

Dulić added that he was "sorry that (they) had succumbed under pressure of a part of the public which made a circus out of meaningless charges":

"Of course, I will now have to prove what I have claimed until now, and that is that the law had been respected absolutely, that nobody incurred losses to the budget, nor was the interest of the citizens damaged in the process of the issuing of permits to cable network operators in our country. Now this will certainly be done in the court."

This DS party MP - who was last week stripped of his immunity from prosecution - also stated that he "could not wait" for the trial to begin, and that he hoped it would not last a long time.

The raising of the draft indictment against him amounted to "putting an end to all meaningless investigative activities, mentions of Seychelles, Cyprus, and other nonsense", said Dulić, and added:

"The essence of the whole procedure is an interpretation of the Law on Planning and Construction, in other words: should the approval of public companies be secured for the issuing of permits."

According to him, the executive branch of the government "attempted to pressure the prosecution" to place him in detention.

"I think it was a great show of courage that the prosecutor did not order detention, because there were absolutely no elements to support it."

Dulić concluded by saying that he would "continue to fight for the truth" and to defend himself - and that he would "continue to bring lawsuits against all media who published untruths about him".