Minister wants "light shed" on transfer of money to Cyprus

BELGRADE -- Velimir Ilić has said that "light should be shed on the hushed up affair" concerning the money extracted from Serbia and taken to Cyprus, during the 1990s.

(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

More than three billion (former German) marks were deposited in accounts there, he noted.

"Somebody hushed it up and that still stands. I expect that this will be activated," said the construction minister as he addressed reporters after opening a fair in Belgrade on Monday.

Ilić confirmed that the Serbian government in 2001 appointed him as chairman of a three-member "working team" which also included a representative of the Ministry of the Interior (MUP), and one from the National Bank of Serbia (NBS).

According to him, they traveled to Cyprus, where they received information and reports from the then president of Cyprus, and the country's Interior Ministry, about the money that Serbia had in accounts there.

"We copied the data and submitted it to the then prime minister, and the minister of finance in our country," said Ilić, adding that these accounts "then began to empty, transferring to other companies and outside of Cyprus."

He said that "all reports about it still exist" and that the then minister of justice, late Vladan Batić, had pressed criminal charges and listed as witnesses Ilić, Borka Vučić, and Vuk Obradović - who was in charge of the fight against corruption in the government of that time.

B92 TV's Insajder ("Insider") investigative program reported about a number of findings related precisely to the transfer of money to Cyprus in a series aired in 2007, dubbed, "The State Robbery of the State."