news 26 Feb 13

Serbian President Accused of Accepting Tycoon's Cash

The opposition Serbian Radical Party has accused the Serbian president and the deputy prime minister of having accepted several million euro from tycoons without disclosing it.

Bojana Barlovac
BIRN
Belgrade

Milorad Mircic, deputy head of the opposition Radical Party, on Monday said that the Serbian President, Tomislav Nikolic, accepted 5 million euro from businessman Miroslav Miskovic during the presidential election campaign in 2008.

Mircic said Aleksandar Vucic, the Deputy Prime Minister, meanwhile took a million euro from another tycoon, Stanko Subotic, who has since been jailed in absentia.

"We have made the data obtained by Vojislav Seselj [the leader of the Radicals] public only now just because we have only now come across the last detail, irrefutable evidence, the exact amount that Nikolic and Vucic received," Mircic said on Monday.

Both Nikolic and Vucic belong to the ruling Serbian Progressive Party which was formed late in 2008 by a group of MPs who broke away from the Radicals.

Nikolic resigned as deputy leader of the Radical Party over disagreements with Seselj - now on trial for war crimes in The Hague - over Nikolic's call for the Radicals to moderate their nationalist image and embrace the EU.

Earlier in 2008, in the January presidential elections, Nikolic stood as the Radical candidate, however, while Vucic was on the Radical Party list in the May 2008 general elections in which the Radicals won 78 seats.

In a TV show broadcast after the 2008 elections, Nikolic said that Miskovic had financed one TV show and had rented transport for the Radicals in the campaign.  

The Radicals' announcement is aimed at embarrassing the Progressives, who have made much of leading the fight against corruption in Serbia. During the course of the fight, three former minister as well as Miskovic himself have been arrested.

Miskovic is the owner of Delta Holding, the largest privately-owned company in Serbia, which is involved in a wide variety of activities including import-export, real estate, insurance, retail and wholesale. He is suspected of illegally earning more than 30 million euro from privatized road companies.

Subotic was tried in absentia for cigarette smuggling in Serbia and was jailed for six years in 2011.

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