Franz Kafka, “The Trial”
Following the arrests in August 2010 the media (B92, B92, Blic, Press, RTS, RTV, Večernje novosti, Blic, Politika, Press, Blic, Press, Blic, Vreme) published a series of false accusations and partial information about the business operations of Ribarsko gazdinstvo Beograd while Tomislav Đorđević was its majority owner.
The media relay allegations made by Police Director Milorad Veljović that the privatisation of Ribarsko gazdinstvo was carried out for personal financial gain, with no intention of developing the company and providing employment for its workers.
Tomislav Đorđević bought Ribarsko gazdinstvo with the intention of integrating it into DTD Ribarstvo. Following the auction, the Republic of Serbia removed the most valuable resource of this company and its only production capacity – the fish pond in Perućac. Tomislav Đorđević then filed a lawsuit against the Agency for Privatisation in the competent commercial court.
Following cancellation of the privatisation contract, State Custodian Nebojša Mandić (representative of the Privatisation Agency at Ribarsko gazdinstvo) questioned several contracts between DTD Ribarstvo and Ribarsko gazdinstvo, two companies that had close commercial relationships. The State Custodian did not accept the offer by DTD Ribarstvo and Tomislav Đorđević to cancel any contracts for the sale of assets which he disputed.
Instead, the State Custodian supplied contrived reports to the police, alleging that DTD made illegal gains through the contracts. This was the basis for initiating criminal proceedings against Tomislav Đorđević and the former management of Ribarsko gazdinstvo, even though the contracts were not previously challenged before the competent commercial court.
Tomislav Đorđević appealed to the Serbian media for an independent journalistic inquiry of the case file, but no one responded. After reviewing the charges and contacting all parties, Georgi Gotev of the Brussels newspaper EurActiv published his conclusions about the case. The article was relayed in Serbia by a handful of web sites.
A year after the arrest and public disgrace of Tomislav Đorđević, but only after international institutions voiced concerns about his persecution, some Serbian newspapers (Nacionalni građanski, Danas and Pravda) allowed him to contest the accusations.
The details and documents of the commercial dispute between Tomislav Đorđević with the Privatisation Agency regarding Ribarsko gazdinstvo can be found here.
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