During the final phase of 30 million worth investment in Novi Sad at the end of 2006, an attack was launched against Ilija Dević personally and his investment by the powerful persons through the state institutions. In spite of having the valid documentation, he could not exercise his rights and in July, 2007, he filed the charge against the City of Novi Sad for compensation of the damagage. As soon as he did thta, the city authorities of Novi Sad declared him to be persona non grata, and a whole avalanche of lies and frauds was brought upon him.

In December, 2008, ATP”Vojvodina” was brought to a staged bankruptcy, and the civil proceedings were continued by the bankruptcy administrator Nikola Pavlović (who almost withdrew the charge). Ilija Dević continued to struggle and he asked and was given the status of the intervener in the case  P4597/2010; he also filed a personal charge for the damage compensation to the Higher Court in Novi Sad in the case P 249/2011.


We want to stress up the following: in February, 2012, in the Commercial Court in Novi Sad, ATP”Vojvodina” in reorganization precisely defined the statement of claim P 4597/2010 and demanded calculation of the damage inflicted on the company in all aspects. The same was ordered by the Commercial Court of Appellate in its judgement from 9 December, 2010.  In March, 2012, the Steering Committee ATP”Vojvodina” in reorganization, probably in agreement with the then leaders of the City of Novi Sad, put pressure on the lawyer of ATP”Vojvodina” in reorganization to give up the specified statement of claim and to demand compensation of the damage for only one activity (bus station service), thus reducing the total damage and the bankruptcy pool. To our general consternation as well as to consternation of many journalists who were following the trial, the Commercial Court in Novi Sad accepted that. And then the director, Mr. Mirko Vučinić, resigned because he did not want to participate in dishonourable activities.

On 28 March, 2012, Ilija Dević filed the criminal charge to the Republic Prosecutor’s Office because of the abovementioned judgement, but nothing has been processed in accordance with the charge so far, and the same is with the other criminal charges filed from 2007.

In May, 2012, the Commercial Court in Novi Sad brought the first instance judgement in favour of ATP”Vojvodina”  and appeal was filed to the Commercial Appellate Court in Belgrade. 


In November, 2012, the City of Novi Sad lead by the mayor, Miloš Vučević, proposed forming of an “Expert team” formed of selected experts who are members of the Steering Committees of public companies in Novi Sad (Urban Planning, Institute for the City Building, the Company for Roads etc).

The expert team (there is not such a body in the Statute of the City of Novi Sad) was formed out of the legally regulated procedure on the civil proceedings. The team (commission) made a report with propositions and measures to be taken, but the proposed measures and means were undue because the City and the public companies were given the instructions to apply the legal remedies by abusing law. The commission sent the report to the Commercial Appellate  Court in the appeal process PŽ 6028/2012 immediately before bringing the judgement, with clear and obvious intention to influence upon the Second instance court’s decision. 

The director of ATP Vojvodina in reorganization addressed the Commercial Appellate Court and he was given the answer by the same Su 44/12-470 that the vase would be solved till the end of December, 2012.

Simultaneously with the alleged investigation of the compromised privatizations, Ilija Dević Svetlana Miljušević-President of the Steering Committee of ATP”Vojvodina” and other employees were invited and mistreated by the team from Novi Sad. By the order given by the powerful ones, the team was spending time in the company, several times searching and investigating everything till the moment of bankruptcy, but they did not manage to find anything illegal. Word was going around the City of Novi Sad that: “Everything has already been agreed and solved. As soon as the judgement arrives, Ilija Dević will be arrested!!” The First Prime Minister Deputy, Aleksandar Vučić and the internal police control were informed about that. By the way, the coordinator of the teams for checking of the controversial privatizations  is Mr. Pušić, whose wife was included in the criminal charge filed by the Anti-corruption Agency about the case of ATP”Vojvodina”. Since they could not direct their revenge to the Agency, they did that to Ilija Dević and his workers. Before making decision the court judgement, they demonstrated their power with the intention of influencing the persons in the proceedings.

Together with public appearance of the representatives of Novi Sad authorities, there were public comments on the way of conducting the proceedings as well as threats to the judicial authorities in order to make the Commercial Appellate Court bring the judgement in their favour, i.e. in favour of the City of Novi Sad. The only thing Ilija Dević and his lawyers could do was to defend themselves via media. They did that in a polite and dignified manner, in the way proper for a democratic society. 

Especially strong were the threats made by the mayor Miloš Vučević  in the TV programme “One against one” on 26 December, 2012, in the programmes of the local media as well as in the newspapers articles, and all that in the time of making the decision by the Commercial Appellate Court.

The judgement brought on 31 January, 2013,  was in favour of ATP”Vojvodina”.

On 22 February, 2013, the Assembly of the City of Novi Sad, out of the common practice (never since then in long parliamentary history of the City of Novi Sad), made the conclusions, made comments on the judgement of the Commercial Appellate Court, provided false explanations and directed the anger and dissatisfaction of the citizens of Novi Sad with the situation in the city towards Ilija Dević himself. He was the scapegoat and the one to be blamed for all the bad things in Novi Sad. The mayor himself, when making the statement to the media, publicly threatened Ilija Dević, the investor of ATP”Vojvodina” company, in order to put pressure on the judicial authorities. Even today, Ilija wonders: “Why all this? I have invested hard-earned money, I have borrowed money, I have invested all that I have into that investment, I employed many people, and I fed more than 500 families. How did I deserve this? Wasn’t it much simpler to tell me immediately after the letter on intention – no, you can’t and that’s all.”

The pressure and threats went on through the Republic Prosecutor’s Office under personal monitoring of the Republic Public Prosecutor Deputy, Djordje Ostojić). The lawyers say that the extraordinary remedy does not delay execution. They say that the law says so. They also say that the Republic Public Prosecutor can file demand for protection of constitutionality, but only against the decisions which are based on the impermissible acts of the parties. The law says that the impermissible acts of the parties are withdrawal of the charge, giving up the claim, accepting of the claim, settlements, giving up the complaint. Although none of the abovementioned things happened in the dispute between ATP Vojvodine and the City of Novi Sad, the Republic Public Prosecutor filed the demand for protection of constitutionality. It was soon clear why he had done that. He sent the demand to the executive judge of the Commercial Court in Novi Sad to delay the execution. To the dismay of many people, the Commercial Court allowed that, although the Law on execution and ensuring explicitly forbids delay of execution. The lawyers mention and quote many judgements made by the Supreme Court of Cassation and the Constitutional Court confirming that the right to deciding on this extraordinary remedy is exclusively related to the impermissible acts of the parties. They say that the Republic Public Prosecutor has received all such decisions and he is very familiar with all these facts. In spite of that, he filed the demand for protection of the law. It is obvious that his intention was to help one of the parties by acting contrary to his legal authorities. 

While the executive authorities of the City of Novi Sad were making an agreement with the Republic Public Prosecutor, the pressure was being put on the Steering Committee of ATP”Vojvodina” and its director in reorganization and the pressure was in the form of about ten days of threatening and preventing them from filing the proposal for execution.  The attorney of ATP”Vojvodina” in reorganization filed the demand for the execution only on 8 March, 2013, and under pressure of the employees. 

In this way, a message was also sent to the Supreme Cassational Council, the only one council that can decide on a civil legal matter, that they had to revoke the effect making judgement of the Commercial Appellate Court. If they did not do that, the City would be destroyed, they said. Of course, they obeyed the instruction, the pressure was put on the Supreme Causational Court and the judgement, unknown before in the court practice, was brought. Nobody paid attention to the fact that the investment of Ilija Dević was destroyed. Are we really all equal before the law?

They also try to persuade the public through media that there is a falsified document (the decision without signature made by the Ministry for Capital Investments) submitted by  ATP”Vojvodina” and which was considered by the Commercial Court and the Commercial Appellate Court (first and second instance). In all this matter, nobody has ever claimed that it is neither a signed document, nor anybody every denied its credibility. Evidence like any other and its evidence validity should be estimated by court.

All these things were done with the aim to prevent ATP”Vojvodina” from getting its money from the City of Novi Sad.

The pressure was also put on Ilija Dević as the owner of 82% and, after the staged bankruptcy the contract with the Agency for privatization was terminated. He is now owner of 39% but has never got the decision on the contract termination. That is why he filed a criminal charge against the responsible persons in March 2010, but nothing has been done concerning the charge so far.

ATP”Vojvodina” and Ilija Dević filed a constitutional complaint to the Constitutional Court of Serbia on 21 June, 2013. Ilija Dević sent two urgings and has had an insight into the subject.

It is really strange that the rapporteur on the subject is Sabahudin Tahirović, again a judge from Novi Sad.

Having in mind the state of our judiciary system which is not so strong and reliable, Ilija Dević demanded legal and fair court proceedings for  ATP”Vojvodina” and himself, in accordance with the regulations defined by the European Convention and the Constitution of Serbia.

ATP”Vojvodina” is on the list of 24 controversial privatizations as the only one in which the investor is the one who suffers damage. That is written in EP Resolution for Serbia, and in the rest of the cases the damaged party suffering the damage is the state of Serbia. 

ATP “Vojvodina“ looked like this

before being privatized


ATP“Vojvodina“ looks like this

after being privatized


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