On 5 November, Balkan Insight carried a report saying that a list of donors to Serbia’s interior ministry raises questions about conflicts of interest. It asks what a Belgrade arms company blacklisted by the US, a car trader favoured for a string of lucrative Serbian government contracts and a cluster of companies at the centre of a scandal over gas pipeline construction have in common? It seems that they have all dug deep to donate to the Serbian police, according to data for the past 6 years. Serbia’s Law on Donations allows private individuals and companies to donate money or goods to state institutions even in cases in which those institutions are tasked with monitoring or even investigating those same individuals or companies; but there is no public register of donations, nor any control mechanism to determine whether such donations may influence the work of state institutions in monitoring, investigating or striking deals with their donors. The interior ministry said it acts fully in accordance with the law, but experts say the law is fundamentally flawed.
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