Indicted drug farm owner on pro-regime TV

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Source/Author: N1

The main defendant in a case alleged to involve high-ranking public officials appeared on a pro-regime TV station, denying the charges of operating a marijuana farm.

Predrag Koluvija, owner of the Jovanjica farm in a Belgrade suburb, was arrested in 2019 and charged with growing and processing cannabis and heading an organized crime group distributing the drugs. The police seized a large amount of marijuana at the farm. Koluvija was reported to have claimed the protection of ranking public officials and their associates. There were also reports that the security guards at the farm were members of security services. The trial has attracted major attention and claims of state involvement which has been denied by the Serbian authorities.

Koluvija appeared on the Cirilica talk show anchored by the editor in chief of the pro-regime Happy TV. Maric often hosts President Aleksandar Vucic on his talk show.

The Jovanjica owner portrayed himself as an organic farmer who was raising industrial cannabis plants and not drugs. He called his critics to show the evidence they claim to have against him in public.

Two weeks ago, Koluvija phoned in to the Impression of the Week talk show on the independent Nova TV to deny allegations and the charges against him. The guests on that talk show included reporter Jelena Zoric who covered the Jovanjica trial.