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Serb ex-reformist minister accused of corruption

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Oct. 6, 2012, 4:18 p.m. | World — by Associated Press

Serbian former ecology minister Oliver Dulic speaks during a news conference in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. Prosecutors in Serbia on Saturday accused a senior opposition politician who is a former government minister, of corruption while in office, but he rejected the allegations as politically motivated. Police attempted to detain Dulic early on Saturday, but he initially evoked parliamentary immunity to evade immediate arrest. Dulic later held a press conference when he rejected the allegations and said he was revoking the immunity.
© AP

Associated Press

Associated Press

BELGRADE, Serbia — Prosecutors in Serbia on Saturday accused a senior opposition politician of corruption while he was a government minister. He rejected the allegations as politically motivated. 

Police attempted to detain former ecology minister Oliver Dulic early on Saturday, but he initially evoked parliamentary immunity. Dulic later held a press conference where he rejected the allegations and said he was revoking the immunity.

"The attempt to arrest me was not part of the fight against corruption but part of a crackdown on political opponents," he said.

Dulic's Democratic Party was in power in Serbia for four years before it was ousted by a nationalist coalition after a general election in May.

The prosecutor for organized crime said Dulic and two associates are suspected of abuse of position in the issuing permits to private companies as part of a government project. No further details were released.

Dulic — surrounded at the press conference by senior Democratic Party officials in a sign of support — declared that "I will prove I have never broken the law."

"This is a political process meant to discredit the people from the Democratic Party," Dulic added.

Serbia's populist authorities have pledged to fight alleged widespread crime and corruption in the Balkan country. 

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