Kusturica resigns as head of nature park

BELGRADE -- Emir Kusturica has resigned as director of the Mokra Gora Nature Park in western Serbia, Belgrade-based daily Blic is reporting.

Emir Kusturica (Tanjug, file)
Emir Kusturica (Tanjug, file)

The internationally renowned film director decided to step down after the State Audit Institution (DRI) included him in its report filed against officials whom it accused of misspending budget funds.

"As I do not wish to partake in the public life which pillories 'traffic violations' without previously proving that any violation, abuse of office, or misspending of funds took place, I have decided to resign from the office" Kusturica was quoted as saying in the explanation of his decision.

He also resigned as president of the Ski Association of Serbia, and will neither seek nor accept any assistance from the state in organizing his Kustendorff Festival.

Kusturica at the same time withdrew his application to be granted funds to film his next movie, "Love and War".

According to Blic, the state auditors filed their complaint against Kusturica "for avoiding, on several occasions, to call a tender, for failure of the Mokra Gora Park to report having received two freight vehicles from the Security-Information Agency (BIA), and for failing to submit reports on contracts to the Public Procurement Administration".

According to the charges, Kusturica also failed to make regular analytical inventories of property, which prevented the agency from determining "the level of amortization" of real estate and equipment.

At the same time, writes the newspaper, the auditing agency found that the park spent RSD 761,000 (EUR 6,800) over budget on telephone bills in 2011, and RSD 558,000 (EUR 5,000) more than planned on advertizing.