Charges brought against former Foreign Ministry officials over NGO funding


Chief corruption prosecutor Eleni Raikou on Friday issued embezzlement charges against high-ranking officials who served at the Foreign Ministry in early 2000 and were responsible for approving state funding to non-governmental organizations.

The investigation that led to the charges concerned a US-based think-tank called the EastWest Institute that was active in Serbia, and which received funding worth 900,000 euros in the 2001-2003 period. A preliminary probe has allegedly uncovered evidence that the money was disbursed without going through the proper channels to ensure that the organization met the necessary criteria.

The case file has been forwarded to Parliament – even though the statute of limitations has expired – to will determine whether charges should also be brought against the foreign minister and his deputy at the time.