Belgrade Court Orders Investigation into Kolubara Case
6 October 2011, Balkan Insight
Belgrade’s Special Court has ordered an investigation into the former director of Serbia’s strip mining complex and 16 others on suspicion that they incurred financial damages to the company worth over €10 million.
Maja Kovacevic Tomic, a spokesperson for Belgrade’s Special Court, said that the court had ordered a 30-day detention to Dragan Tomic, the former director of the Kolubara strip mining complex, and 16 other corruption suspects.
Dragan Tomic was the Kolubara director from 2004-2008.
The court has also launched an investigation into the suspects on suspicion that they incurred financial damages to the company worth over €10 million. The group was arrested on Tuesday.
The total amount of the allegedly illegally-gained assets and the financial damage inflicted to the Kolubara complex totals 920 million dinars, which at the time of the perpetration of the alleged crime amounted over €10 million.
In August this year, the EBRD approved an €80 million loan for “environmental improvements” at Kolubara lignite fields, in spite of receiving repeated warnings from NGOs CEE Bankwatch and CEKOR claiming that the management of Kolubara, which would oversee the developments, should not be entrusted with the money unless the police investigation — which had already begun at that time — cleared them of all corruption allegations.
“Rather than wait for the results of the police investigation, the EBRD chose to rush into this loan rubbing its hands at the prospects of making profit from expanding lignite production in Serbia,” Zvezdan Kalmar, Bankwatch Serbian national coordinator, said in a press release.