The Army of Serbia trade union leader, Novica Antic, said on July 5 that the recent death of a sergeant first class, Dejan Stojkovic, during maneuvers in Serbia, should be an ethical reason for Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic to resign, while all generals in command of the exercise should be called to account.
Antic said to BETA that Stojkovic was killed in the Pester maneuvers when a fire suppression system was activated in a military vehicle. "Minister Stefanovic needed to set up an emergency commission to establish the circumstances surrounding the sergeant's death. Stojkovic was a healthy man, and it was probably the inhalation of halon that killed him," Antic said, adding that officers in charge made mistakes during the exercise, and had failed to use safety precautions as prescribed.
When asked why Stefanovic was still at the helm of the Ministry and the National Security Council even though his party no longer supported him, Antic said that the fact that Stefanovic continued to occupy the high-ranking office was extremely debatable. "If someone is tied to criminal affairs and their credibility challenged by even the closest party allies, they can't be responsible for state security," Novica Antic said.