Franz Kafka, “The Trial”
The troubles of Tomislav Đorđević began after he participated in the privatisation process.
The privatisation process ought to be extremely transparent and legitimate since its participants include foreign investors and it is a process of great importance for Serbia. Following the sale of Meridian Bank in 2006, Tomislav for the first time decided to invest part of his capital through the privatisation process, for the first time.
Tomislav Đorđević’s investments in privatised companies took place in 2007. His main focus was on companies in the field of tourism, agriculture and fisheries; activities that he has developed strategically and invested significant amounts in.
In 2008 it already became clear to Tomislav that privatisation in Serbia follows different rules from those governing normal business relationships. After selling him Ribarsko gazdinstvo, the state expropriated its most valuable asset – fish farm Perućac, and in HTP Fontana where he is a minority shareholder, he was obstructed in exercising his ownership rights. The Privatisation Agency ignored his calls to rectify the situation in those companies. Finally, in 2009, the Privatisation Agency informed him that it was also going to terminate the privatisation contract for Hotel Prag, contrary to the provisions of the contract and the Law.
Tomislav Đorđević sought protection of his investments from the arbitrary and unlawful acts of the Privatisation Agency in commercial court. The further course of these proceedings confirms that the principle of equality of parties in dispute does not apply in Serbia if the state is one of the contracting parties.
Relevant legal provisions can be found here.
Next: Legal framework
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