In the mid of 2006 when the investment ATP“Vojvodina“ was about to be completed or, to be more precise, on 9 August, 2006, inspectors for economic crime from Novi Sad came into ATP“Vojvodina“ by order given by the powerful ones.

They took the documents and found nothing illegal.

It is very strange that the same criminal inspectors were working on reconsidering of the 24 controversial privatizations – and what a coincidence – on the case of ATP“Vojvodina“!

ATP“Vojvodina“  was one of the large taxpayers and Belgrade Tax Department Centre was in charge of it. In the mid of 2006 when the investment ATP“Vojvodina“ was about to be completed,  the tax contollers from the regional tax department of Novi Sad came to the company.

It was found out that it was not part of their jurisdiction. Immediately after that, a decision was made that ATP“Vojvodina“ was transferred from Belgrade jurisdiction to jurisdiction of Novi Sad regional centre. After receiving of the decision sent by Belgrade tax departemnt and irrespectively of the achieved turnovers, the tax inspection came to the company, stayed there for six months but nothing illegal was found in the business activities of ATP“Vojvodina“.

During the following months and until the bankruptcy all the inspections being in jurisdiction of the City of Novi Sad (tax, financial, construction, utility, ecological) were coming to ATP“Vojvodina“ almost every day. 

Criminal procedure for witholding tax

The criminal offense Ilija Dević has been charged with is defined in the Law as an intention of the taxpayer ro avoid payment of the witholding tax in amount of 15 million dinaras. This tax is to be calculated in payment of salaries to the employees. For being guilty, it is necessary to have intent or criminal intent.

There is not such an intent in this case!

Ilija Dević not only calculated and made evidence of his tax obligations in the ledgers, but he also paid 40% of the amount whenever and however he could, in spite of the company’s being in investment. The workers who were to be retired were his priority, so that they could have continuity in their years of service. This proves that he took care of the social dimension of the obligation.  He was also constantly making agreements with the Tax department about time, ways and amounts to be paid.

In the same time, the Tax department had the guarantee for the debt – mortgage that could be activated if necessary and there was also overpaid amount of the other kind of tax – VAT, which could also by used for this purpose. 

It was not Ilija Dević’ who was guilty for the problem with paying the obligations, but it was the City of Novi Sad which did not fulfil the contractual obligations towards ATP“Vojvodina“. The compnay was deprived of the incomes which would have been earned if the governmet of  Novi Sad had obeyed the contract.

After receiving the judgement against the City of Novi Sad brought  by Higher Court of Cassation, the Tax department collected the money belonging to it in accordance with the final decision of the Higher Court of Cassation.

Criminal procedure for ecology

When harangue was started against Ilija Dević and the bus station of ATP“Vojvodina“, many different inspections appeared and even the one for ecology was not an exception.

Among other things, it was a pure absurd that the female inspector who came to ATP“Vojvodina“ didn’t go to the old Bus Station in Novi Sad which is definitely much bigger pollutant of the environment than Ilija’s Bus Station. The old Bus station has neither the required conditions for its activity nor the work permission. Besides, it is located in the very centre of the city and it pollutes the environment much more than ATP“Vojvodina“ bus station which, by the way, hasn’t even started to work!

The point is that the environmental study should be made during prparation of the project documents and not later than starting the works, but in this case the inspectors came when the facility had already been completed.

According to the regulations being in power in that time, the very contractor was the one who estimated the needs relating creation of the environmental study, unless directly regulated for that very facility in a different way by the law. In spite of that, ATP“Vojvodina“ addressed the Tax department for the environmental protection submitting with the study relating environmental protection of the new bus sation complex. In February, 2007, the Department sent the decision saying that the study on the process of influence of the bus sstation upon the environment should be submitted only after completion of the first and second phases of the faciltiy construction.  

The second phase of construction has not been completed so far, so there have not been any conditions for the study consideration, although ATP“Vojvodina“ did submit it.

However, the female inspector the claim of which was used as the basis for the case processing before the Commercial Court in Novi Sad, , said that  she lived exactly next door to the new Bus Station, that she passed by it every day and had never got the idea to check up if there was an environmental study or not. But, when someone from the City authorities demanded, she claimed that the City department’s decision had not been written properly. The sadness of the claim was also confirmed by the judgement rendered. 

The Commercial Court in Novi Sad found out that Ilija Dević, as director of ATP“Vojvodina“, was guilty because he did not have the environmental study. He was sentenced to pay 4.000 dinars – suspended.

„it is not necessary to mention that the expenses for ten hearings were about 2,000.000 dinars and that they are many times bigger than the very sentence. There is also no point to mention useless waste of the judges’ time and the price which was paid to the police who came by night to deliver the invitations for the hearings to Ilija Dević“

A complaint was also filed to the Court of Appellate which brought the same judgement, with the only intention to save the state from paying the expenses of the procedure.

The  procedure  before  the Special  Prosecutor s 

The criminal proceedings conducted against  Ilija Dević before the Special Prosecutor’s Office is a process installed by the criminal police and criminal Prosecutor’s Office from Novi Sad.  

The organized group of people have brought ATP”Vojvodina” to bankruptcy (criminal policemen Bogdan Pušić,Aleksandar Petković, Neško Nešković, criminal Prosecutor Djordje Ostojić, criminal bankers).

All of them were together ready to serve to the tycoons and criminal groups who were managing the dirty money in Vojvodina. It is incredible how far they reached -  Ilija Dević spent 36 days in detention.

The same people from the police of Novi Sad and the Prosecutor’s Office who were for a whole decade in position to have at their disposal all the papers relating business activities of Ilija Dević have now come up with the idea to accuse him of the alleged irregularities in 2006.

Just to remind the public, ATP”Vojvodina” is on the list of 24 controversial cases, because the City of Novi Sad did not comply with the contract which had been concluded on construction of the new bus station.

EU marked this privatization as the only one in which the investor has suffered damage.

In the proceedings conducted so far, despite of being under unprecedented pressure from the authorities, it has been found out that the company was the one which suffered the damage and the City of Novi Sad was obliged to pay the damage of 4 million Euros.

In agreement with the mayor and the bankruptcy administrator, the money is currently being used for liquidity of the City. 

The proceedings in which the personal damage inflicted on  Ilija Dević (he gave the guarantees for the investment with his personal property and property of his mother companies) were also in the final phase.

At that moment, instead of finding out who was the one who caused the damage, which business and criminal circles were behind the whole story, the authorities decided to accuse Ilija of the alleged  drawing of the capital from privatized ATP”Vojvodina eight years ago!

It is easy to compose such an accusation when any kind of transaction is taken out of the context of its total business activities and business plan.

We are sure that it is easy to refute such an accusation and the best illustration is the easily accessible and measurable fact: When Ilija Dević came, value of ”ATP”Vojvodina” was 2-3 million Euros, and after completion of the well designed investment and the guarantees provided with Ilija Dević’s capital for all the obligations of  ATP”Vojvodina” ,value of the company was increased to 100 million Euros.

As far as this case is concerned, the pressure from the criminal police of Novi Sad and criminal Prosecutor’s Office from Novi Sad is continued. 

We know that they just obey the orders given by the business so-called elite, although there is different name for that.

ATP “Vojvodina“ looked like this

before being privatized


ATP“Vojvodina“ looks like this

after being privatized


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