Serbia's opposition: Telekom finances private firm;Expert: It overpays operators

Serbia's opposition: Telekom finances private firm;Expert: It overpays operators

Serbia's opposition: Telekom finances private firm;Expert: It overpays operators Izvor: Tanjug/Slobodan Miljević, Fonet/Aleksadnar Brada

Marinika Tepic, the opposition Party of Freedom and Justice (SSP) deputy leader, showed to reports on Monday the contract between the state-owned Telekom Serbia and private Wireless Media company, based on which the latter owned by Igor Zezelj, received 38 million Euro from Telekom.

"Including other Zeselj's company Mondo INC… the contract is worth 38 million Euro of our money. That is a true crime, organised crime," Tepic told the news conference outside the Telkom headquarters.

She produced the document which, according to her, confirmed what she had been saying for weeks – "the (Serbia ruling Serbia Progressive Party led by President Aleksandar Vucic) SNS (Telekom's) management pays and buys media in Serbia with our money."

marinika tepić Izvor: N1

 "In this concrete example, it pays Zezelj, the owner of the Kurir tabloid and since recently of the new Kurir TV. The document is the evidence of an infamous organised crime of Vucic's mercenaries who influence media in this way to keep him in power and silence any criticism. And to keep us all in media darkness," Tepic said.

"We can see that 'Telekom Srbija' overpaid the cable operators' Kopernicus' and 'Radius Vektor' many times over. In doing so, it paid at least about three times more for 'Kopernicus' and nearly five times more for 'Radius Vektor' over the real price. Therefore, the question is whether the purchase of cable operators at such a high price was a justified investment or a large-scale robbery," Goran Radosavljevic, an economist and an assistant professor at the Belgrade Economy Faculty, said on Monday in an analysis of Telekom Srbija's purchases, nova.rs reported.

 :She added that the contract was "an answer to all those who yelled – where are the proves."Tepic said the contract she showed was from 2018. "It proves that Igor Zezelj became a media tycoon and a millionaire overnight. It is well known who from Telekom made such deals with him, but I'll leave it to you journalists to investigate that," Tepic said, distributing the copies of the contract to the reporters.

Earlier, Serbia's Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, accused Tepicand other opposition leaders of spreading lies about Telekom and some other authorities' business, to destroy the state companies, and called on the prosecution to react.

Asked to comment on the accusation, Tepic said she also had been calling on the prosecutors to react for a while and that she might sue the prosecutors' office for inaction and complicity in organised crime in case it does not act."

"And not only for stealing our money but also for a direct influence on media, because the issue concerns all of us," Tepic added.

telekom procena Izvor: N1

She also said that the contract revealed "the Mondo website mystery." Telekom was developing it for 15 years, and then gave it to Zezelj for free."

Tepic added

the contract showed Zezelj's account with two million Euro at one point and then rose to 40 million overnight thanks to our money."Vladimir Todorovic, a lawyer, recalled that the state was banned by the law to own media, but that it could use Zeelj's companies which took ten million Euro provision as a Trojan Horse for the control of media."As you will see from the contract, Telekom has the right to influence the programme of those media, has the right to be their exclusive associate and to buy the company Mondo INC," Todoric said. 

He added that the implementation of the contract should stop immediately and the money returned to Telekom.  

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