Ex-Minister Dinkić accused of "money laundering"

BELGRADE -- Organized Crime Prosecutor Miljko Radisavljević says his office did not receive a criminal complaint against former Economy and Finance Minister Mlađan Dinkić.

Domagoj Margetić (Beta)
Domagoj Margetić (Beta)

Radisavljević specified that Croatian journalists Domagoj Margetić did not file the charges against Dinkić, and added that "it needs to be seen first what this is about, and what arguments and data are there."

"The prosecutor spoke after Margetić and other representatives of the Balkan Anti-Corruption League held a news conference in Belgrade on Thursday, saying that they had "classified documents allegedly proving the involvement of Mlađan Dinkić in the laundering of Serbian money from secret bank accounts in Cyprus, and in irregular dealings regarding the telecommunications company Mobtel."

He charged that, after Mobtel was seized from the Karić family, Dinkić, as the relevant minister, "recognized a 30-percent stake in the company owned by offshore firm of Austrian businessman Martin Schlaff."

Then the company Mobi 063 was formed, in which Schlaff held 30 and the Serbian government 70 percent. The Capital of Mobi 063 was estimated to be worth EUR 132 million, but Dinkić signed a contract on the state's acquisition of Schlaff's 30 percent for half a billion euros, the Beta news agency quoted the journalist as saying.

"The money ended up in Serbia via the Cyprus offshore companies, through fictitious investments via the Hypo Group, Margetić said," adding that the trail also leads to companies of businessman Milan Beko.

The Balkan Anti-Corruption League said that they received support for this case "from Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić personally."

"We did not expect to receive the support directly from the president of the republic, who in front of us demonstrated that he wished to prove and show that nobody was untouchable. He called the special prosecutor, the president himself did, and also the UKP (criminal investigations police) chief," said journalist Darko Trifunović.

Dinkić's party, the United Regions of Serbia (URS), reacted with a statement that said the accusations heard during the press conference "endangered the reputation of Dinkić and investment projects in Serbia, and referred to the support of presidential advisor Oliver Antić."

"During Domagoj Margetić's news conference a bunch of stupidities, arbitrary interpretations and non truths has been said. We are appealing on the state organs do to their work," the statement said.

The party also presented many accusations against Antić and said they would sue Margetić for "offending the reputation and honor of an individual and spreading the panic in the public life of Serbia."

In an interview for the daily Politika Oliver Antić announced that "a press conference would be held, where details of an international financial scheme involving Serbian politicians will be revealed, shedding light on the attacks on President Tomislav Nikolić."

Nikolić and Dinkić have been trading accusations in connection with the controversial privatization of the Vršac Vineyards for several days.