Franz Kafka, “The Trial”
Tomislav Đorđević et al are charged with concluding allegedly damaging contracts for the lease and sale of assets of Ribarsko Gazdinstvo in favour of another company – DTD Ribarstvo.
According to the indictment, the real value of assets which were sold to DTD Ribarstvo for RSD 151,243,544.00 is allegedly 270,506,220.50, incurring damages of RSD 119,262,676.50 to Ribarsko gazdinstvo. The indictment also states that Ribarsko gazdinstvo sustained damages of RSD 129,033,487.96 due to unfair leasing of its coldstores (total cooling area of approximately 1.000m2) to DTD Ribarstvo for a period of 15 months.
These claims are based on the “valuations” of an “internal committee” formed at Ribarsko gazdinstvo by the State custodian Nebojša Mandić.
The members of this committee have neither knowledge nor experience that would qualify them to perform valuations of assets and leases. For example, the committee estimates the total sales value of the distribution centre of Ribarsko gazdinstvo in village Vakup at RSD 13,482,780.69, and the market value of a 15 month lease for a part of that centre at RSD 22,714,188.36 (RSD 1,514,279.22 per month). According to the findings of the committee, DTD should have paid for the entire facility after 9 months rental. The “market value” of rental is similarly absurd for all other assets, notwithstanding the fact that the committee drastically overestimated the “market value” of the assets which were subject to lease and sale.
Although the bulk of achieved sales prices of the assets were based on an existing valuation of the total assets of Ribarsko gazdinstvo by a certified valuer, the committee ignored this valuation and the official company accounting data. The committee produced its reports without consulting a single competent expert, and without applying relevant legislation and accepted valuation methodologies, which is confirmed by the committee member’s statements to the investigating judge.
During the investigative proceeding, the defense provided the court and the prosecutor with valuations by certified court experts proving that the achieved prices were in line with market value and that no damages were sustained by Ribarsko gazdinstvo. During the course of the criminal proceeding, on 26 May 2011, Ribarsko gazdinstvo filed a commercial lawsuit to annul the “harmful contracts” for the sale of assets which are subject of the criminal proceeding. According to the findings of the expert appointed by commercial court, the amount paid by DTD Ribarstvo for these assets exceeds the estimated market value of the properties. According to the findings of KPMG financial forensics unit (a leading court expert in Europe), DTD Ribarstvo paid 91 milion dinars more than the minimum fair price for RGB assets at the time of purchase.
The police could have easily determined that the “internal committee” reports were not credible economically nor legally, that they contained false information, and that they were produced by persons not qualified for the preparation of such documents. However, the acting police inspector, Milosav Stojanović, a PhD in Management, copied the committee findings in the official charge sheet.
The prosecutor initiated the criminal investigation without any further examination of the reports, insisting on the defendants’ pre-trial detention. Contrary to the actual results of the investigation, 6 months later the prosecutor copied the committee findings into the indictment. Contrary to the Criminal Procedure Code, the indictment contains no description of the act of instigation with which Tomislav Đorđević is charged, nor does it name a single piece of evidence in support of that claim. The indictment makes no reference to any of the evidence submitted by the defense during the investigation.
The defendants’ detention was extended repeatedly by the Chamber of the High Court, and on several occasions by the Appellate Court. They were detained due to alleged “especially severe circumstances of the offense”, although the prosecution did not provide a single valid proof that the defendant committed any criminal offense, let alone that they committed in a “particularly severe” manner which would warrant their detention.
The objection to the indictment filed by the defendents in February 2011 was dismissed by the Chamber of the High Court at the end of June 2011 without a single reference to the arguments of defense and the legal deficiencies of the indictment.
The trial has not yet been scheduled.
Tomislav Đorđević and the former board members pressed criminal charges against all persons whose involvement in the creation of the false criminal accusations is documented (Milosav Stojanović, Nebojša Mandić, Boško Ristić and others).
The prosecutor dismissed these charges. By contrast, based on the incredible committee reports it had promptly commenced criminal proceedings and requested detention of Tomislav Đorđević and others.
Tomislav Đorđević and the former RGB board members have initiated criminal proceedings against the persons named above, as private prosecutors. These proceedings are at a standstill.
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