Former Belgrade city manager detained

BELGRADE -- The High Court in Belgrade announced on Wednesday that a 30-day detention was ordered for Aleksandar Bijelić, former Belgrade city manager.

A file photo of Aleksandar Bijelić (Beta)
A file photo of Aleksandar Bijelić (Beta)

The same decision applies to eight other persons suspected of abuse of office in connection with the 2010 reconstruction of the capital's longest street, King Aleksandar Boulevard.

The group includes Marko Blagojević, Radovan Drča, Danka Šotra, Elizabeta Troha, Slobodan Stević, Slavko Božić, Nada Ćuvić, and Mileta Zekić.

The court thus wanted to ensure that the suspects will not exert influence on the witnesses that should be questioned during the investigation, given that, if found guilty, they could receive prison sentences of over ten years.

As Police Director Milorad Veljović told Tanjug on Tuesday, the police ascertained that the tender for the reconstruction of the boulevard was rigged, and noted that the Balkan Gradnja company was favored over the others, and some firms offering far better bids were excluded from the public procurement procedure.

"The order was for Balkan Gradnja to get the job. Investigations conducted by the Belgrade Police Department in collaboration with the High Prosecutor's Office in Belgrade, have found that this caused losses of over EUR 6 million to the City of Belgrade," Veljović said.