Businessman Subotic acquitted in cigarette smuggling case
Businessman Stanko Subotic and his associates have been acquitted in a case where they stood accused of smuggling cigarettes and damaging the state budget.Source: Tanjug
The Appellate Court in Belgrade published the final verdict on its website, acquitted Subotic and others in part for lack of evidence, and because some of the accusations fell under the absolute statute of limitation.
Others that have been freed include former Director of the Federal Customs Administration Mihalj Kertes, Subotic's nephew Nikola Milosevic, Milan Rankovic, Ivana Krcmaric, Jovica Randjelovic, Stevan Banovic, Nebojsa Nikolic, Milan Milanovic, Dear Dodevski, Ivana Olujic, Miodrag Zavisic, Milovan Popivoda, Miroslav Pesic, and Luka Nenadic.
The incitement charged Subotic as the head of the group, accused of smuggling cigarettes in 1995 and 1996 from Macedonia to Serbia and selling them to legal entities and individuals.
The group, according to the indictment, gained RSD 28 million and USD 6 million in this way, at the expense of the state budget.
The first instance verdict of the Special Court, which has been overturned, found Subotic guilty and sentenced him to six years in prison, while other defendants received from one to five years.
The second instance ruling, passed in 2014, acquitted them all.
Subotic spent seven years on the run after the initiation of the investigation in Serbia in 2006. In July 2013 he paid EUR 538,000 bail.
Now that his acquittal has become final, he will be given back the real estate and business premises in Serbia and Montenegro that was temporarily held by the state.
Despite the warrant for his arrest that was in force for several years, Subotic lived and worked freely in Switzerland. In 2008 Russia refused to extradite him to Serbia because the Russian law did not recognize the criminal offense he was charged with - until it was changed in 2013.