Tomislav Đorđević

“Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.”

Franz Kafka, “The Trial”

Political outsider

Tomislav Đorđević was never too interested in politics.

His passion is not political power, but industry and entrepreneurship. He does not tolerate corruption and incompetence, which has led to many verbal, and personal, conflicts with Serbian politicians and officials.

Tomislav’s clashes with political authority started early.

While studying mechanical engineering in Kragujevac, Tomislav was deputy chief editor of the student magazine FAKK and student board member of the Faculty. In 1972 he published several articles about the corrupt activities of the leadership of the municipality of Kragujevac. With two colleagues he was taken to the police station where it was “explained” to them that they should stay clear of forbidden topics. After that he left Kragujevac and went to Kosovo to work as a teacher in a high school while simultaneously completing his college degree. From then until the fall of Milošević he refrained from public criticism of politicians.

In the late eighties and early nineties he was a supporter of Ante Marković and Milan Panić. In 1992 he attended a dinner for businessmen organised by presidential candidate Milan Panić two months before the elections. Although not politically active, he was promptly taken to the police station for questioning. Since then he and his businesses were subjected to various types of pressure. A month later he and his family were attacked in their home by members of the “White Eagles” paramilitary unit of Dragoslav Bokan, attempting to threaten and blackmail Tomislav.

From that time until the fall of Milošević companies of the YUCO group founded by Tomislav Đorđević were controlled by over 200 different directed inspections, which despite their efforts could not identify a single breach of any regulation. In addition to sporadic media accusations against his companies, judicial proceedings were commenced against them, but all of these ended confirming the legitimacy of their business operations.

As companies known to be independent of the Milošević regime, companies of the YUCO group were published on the EU White List in 2000, along with a handful of other Serbian businesses.

In January 1993 he joined the Democratic Party, but was not actively involved in politics until October 2000 when he became a member of the Christian Democratic Party Executive Committee. He quickly realised that politics was not for him, and since 2001 has not been a member of any party.

The democratic changes in Serbia in 2000 encouraged Tomislav to publicly voice his critical attitude towards negative phenomena in state and society. He often openly criticised bad economic policies of subsequent governments. It turned out that this was not taken kindly by the new authorities either, causing the image of Tomislav Đorđević in the media to deteriorate further through a series of completely fabricated stories and biased publications.

Thus in June 2001 Tomislav Đorđević was absurdly labelled as a Milošević “extra-profiteer” in the media, after the passage of the Law on extra profit (legislation defining a one-time tax on the extra income and property acquired through the use of special benefits under the previous regime). The tax police control established that none of his companies made extra profits.

His arrest and initiation of a staged criminal proceeding in August 2010 was accompanied by an organised media campaign in which a whole series of false accusations against him was published.

During his twenty years of experience as an independent businessman Tomislav Đorđević several times rejected offers for political protection. Suspicions about the full background of his prosecution still remain unconfirmed by proof and therefore cannot be published.

Next: Others on Tomislav

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