It took 20 days for the public in Serbia to discover that Aleksandar Obradović, a worker at the state-owned Krušik weapons factory in Valjevo, had been in custody for 30 days – since his arrest on 18th September – due to suspicions that he revealed to journalists trade secrets of the factory where he works.
News of the arrest and detention – as well as suspicions that he was the worker who provided explosive information to journalists about the buyers and prices of Krušik weapons sales – were first reported to the public by journalist Vuk Cvijić in an article for weekly news magazine NIN, published on 10th October.
It was only after Cenzolovka republished Cvijić’s article that other media outlets began reporting on the story. Following a public reaction and protest rally in front of the Belgrade District Prison, where Obradović was in custody, the courts reacted and the Krušik employee was returned to house arrest, which was initially determined immediately following his arrest.
In his first interview after being returned to house arrest, Obradović – who is considered a whistleblower by many – told BIRN that the purpose of his public outrage was to ensure the truth about the factory’s business came out, confirming that he had contacted the media with that intention.
Among others, he also contacted BIRN and the Armswatch portal, which had previously reported on the involvement in arms deals of the father of Interior Minister Branko Stefanović as a representative of company GIM, and that he purchased weapons from the factory at preferentially discounted prices.
Obradović’s arrest came three days after the Armswatch portal reported that weapons from Krušik had ended up in the hands of fighters of the so-called Islamic State in Yemen. According to media reports, Obradović was arrested by members of the BIA Security Service, as if he were a notorious criminal.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.