URS party "did not siphon off money from export agency"

While in the government, the URS "did not siphon off money from the Serbia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SIEPA) through party members."

Source: B92, Tanjug
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This is what United Regions of Serbia (URS) Presidency member Miroslav Čučković said during a B92 TV talk show late on Sunday.

Čučković said that former SIEPA officials who were recently arrested

for office abuse - including URS member Jasna Matić, former minister of telecommunications - are innocent.

Four former officials have been charged with having made illegitimate payments based on "copyright contracts for non-existent work" between 2006 and 2013 and embezzling around RSD 120 million of budget funds, as well as obtaining RSD 90 million of illicit gains for themselves and other persons.

"Matić is a victim of a system anomaly that allows for fees based on service contracts to be paid out to experts in addition to their salaries,"Čučković said.

Based on recommendation from the EU, variable pay has been given to employees of public enterprises since the regime change in 2000, and the same applied to SIEPA and other parts of the public administration, he explained.

"SIEPA is a rule rather than an exception, and we will change that mechanism or put over 2,000 officials in Serbia behind bars," Čučković said.

Asked whether part of the fees that SIEPA employees had to return to the agency actually went to the URS, Čučković said that the party has taken no money whatsoever from SIEPA, adding that "the investigation will prove this."

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