Former Serbian Agriculture Minister Faces Criminal Charges

Published: 01 November 2013


Criminal charges have been filed with the Prosecutor's Office for Organized Crime against former Serbian Agriculture Minister Saša Dragin, alleging he unlawfully changed regulations to allow imports of large quantities of radioactive chemical fertilizer.

 Tanjug reports that Dragin is suspected of enabling the import, processing, and storage of “dangerous substances” in Serbia by altering the fertilizer rules.

Dragin is accused of using his position as Minister of Agriculture to raise the limit on the amount of radioactive inorganic fertilizer which could be imported into Serbia in 2009 to 2,900,000 kilograms. The rule change, which lasted only a month and a half before being repealed, may not have been within his ministry’s responsibility, reports InSerbia.

According to B92, Dragin’s lawyer Vladimir Horović said that the former minister broke no law and added that he acted "with the goal of harmonization with European regulations.”

This is not the first time Dragin has faced charges from the organized crime office. According to B92 and InSerbia, in May of this year Dragin and his associates were charged with “siphoning” several hundred million dinars,” or around US$34 million, from a fertilizer plant when selling subsidized fertilizer.

Dragin is presently under house arrest and has already spent nine months in detention, reports B92.