email Pošalji prijatelju
print Verzija za štampu Plain text Samo tekst Komentari Komentara (0)

What is behind the smear campaign against Stanko Subotic (4)

Court in Zagreb: Cane was blackmailed

Veličina slova: Decrease font Enlarge font
Target of Pukanic’s Nacional: Milo Djukanovic
Target of Pukanic’s Nacional: Milo Djukanovic

All that has been the focus of public attention during the past few weeks: charges by Srdja Popovic in the political background of the assassination of Zoran Djindjic, the misplaced and lost charges filed by Vladimir Popovic against Legija’s lawyers, articles by Jasna Babic about an organized campaign by the weekly Nacional against Zoran Djindjic, Milo Djukanovic and Stanko Subotic, as well as articles about the role of former US ambassador William Montgomery take us back to the unprecedented media campaign which has been going on for years against the same individuals, mainly against Stanko Subotic, for the sole reason that he was a friend of Zoran Djindjic. From the vast volume of media documents which Serbialeaks has at its disposal, in a series of articles, we will present to our readers the methods, style, structure and motives behind this shocking smear campaign against Stanko Subotic, run in the same way in which Kostunica’s machinery had dealt with Vladimir Beba Popovic or the late Prime Minister for years. Articles from print media will be presented in their original form without comments, simply as proof of the pattern behind this political confrontation

Milan Beko’s official weapon: Manjo Vukotic
Photo: Stock
Ours and Bodo’s (NIN, 16.06.2005; by: Radmila Stankovic)

Last Thursday, on June 9 this year, an agreement signed by Serbian Minister of Culture Dragan Kojadinovic and Montenegrin Minister Vesna Kilibarda on February 1, 2005 was annulled at a Serbian government session. A protocol signed by the ministers on the same day was also annulled. Under that protocol the firm Novosti was part of the federal public institution Borba and the founder’s rights of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro (SCG) over it continued to be valid.

(…) What does this mean when it comes to the Serbian government and Novosti? The Serbian government should be expected to take control of 30%, more precisely 37% of the shares which it has counting in the pension and disability insurance fund. It is also expected that the government will respect its decision not to sell these shares at the moment. Shareholders who do not wish to sell shares will create a special company and their shares, together with the Serbian government’s, will form the majority share package of Novosti. It is interesting that the Serbian government has only recently confirmed that it is also the majority owner of shares in Politika AD. It is highly probable that the government will make its move regarding the media company in light of this fact. A few days prior to the decision by the government, Serbian Minister of Economy and Privatization Predrag Bubalo said that the sale of Novosti would be halted for a few months.

“In order to avoid unforeseeable consequences and irreparable damage to the property of the Republic of Serbia, I propose putting a halt to all activities related to the takeover of Novosti until the legal situation is clarified. In my opinion the best option for shareholders would be to consolidate with the state and to choose the best partner through a tender,” says the letter sent by Minister Bubalo to the securities commission.

No doubt this decision by the Serbian government will also stop the German media firm Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ), which submitted an offer to the securities commission in May this year for taking over majority ownership in Novosti. Besides Vecernje Novosti, Novosti is also founder of 12 other papers and magazines. The offer says that WAZ is ready to buy at least 51% shares in Vecernje Novosti for a price of € 2,200 per share.

So once again WAZ! For three years now, from the time when WAZ entered Politika in 2002, the German owner of 130 papers throughout Europe has been the focus of the media’s attention, usually due to some incident or the other. However, only when the public was informed that WAZ wanted to become the majority owner also of Novosti, the most popular daily newspaper in Serbia, did it become clear that there was a great deal of opposition to this idea, above all inside Novosti. For the first time it was being asked explicitly: Why does WAZ want to get its hands on this newspaper? Well, perhaps because it has a high circulation, good reputation and a clear editorial policy which has been successful for decades? Is there anything more tempting than a newspaper which sells nearly 300,000 copies, with premises in the centre of the city and a printing press within the same building?

Victims of Milan Beko: Bodo Hombah, director of WAZ media group
Photo: EPA/Franz-Peter Tschauner

Most of the Vecernje Novosti shareholders are against WAZ participating in any purchase of their newspaper. The reason for this has been voiced in the wider public. Through the purchase of Vecernje Novosti, WAZ would be close to establishing a monopoly on the market in Serbia and Montenegro. At the moment WAZ owns:

1.      55% Politika

2.      Over 50% of the Novi Sad daily Dnevnik

3.      The Kikinda newspaper which is now coming out as a Dnevnik supplement

4.      50% of the Podgorica daily Vijesti which was independent until quite recently

5.      According to the latest information from Podgorica, WAZ also intends to buy the paper Dan which was founded by late Dusan Jovanovic, who was murdered. They want to make Vijesti a serious newspaper and Dan a kind of tabloid, and to merge the two companies.

Finally the plan to buy Novosti shows that WAZ wants to have control over editorial policy as well. The Serbian Association of Journalists recently proposed to the Serbian government alterations to the Law on information for adjusting our law with future European regulations under which the owner of a media company can have a maximum of 40% shares. We remind our readers that Blic is 100% in the ownership of its Swiss owner.

The monopoly over the distribution network should be added to this monopoly. First Stanko Subotic Cane became the owner of the trading firm Duvan, then he took over 650 kiosks of the former Borba Marketing through recapitalization of the firm Borba. Recently news surfaced that Subotic, the controversial businessman, will also take over the distribution network of Politika through WAZ, as stated in the Politika small shareholders report. The distribution system brings Politika 75% of its revenues. Politika has 100 kiosks throughout Serbia and shareholders recall that WAZ is investing only in the sales network, not the media company. In developed countries including Croatia it is forbidden for publishers to be distributors at the same time, for instance there is an antimonopoly law in Croatia and there isn’t this kind of a law in Serbia. (…)

“What would happen to the media scene in Serbia,” asks Manjo Vukotic, “if three extremely popular newspapers, not counting Kurir, go into foreign hands?”

He adds, “The problem is the fact that a foreign media company wants to rule in Serbia over the two most powerful newspapers – the oldest newspaper company with the biggest circulation in the Balkans. Along with that, it controls the most influential newspaper in Vojvodina and is expanding further into Montenegro. This is not about opposing the arrival of foreigners, the privatization which must take place or foreign investment, but all this must be judged in a realistic manner. We are not suffering losses that we need to be saved. We are not in a panic and I don’t see why somebody should force the Serbian government to get rid of its shares. I have said already that I am against putting up the newspaper company for bidding by foreign millionaires and domestic tycoons, because newspapers are not the same as factories, especially not a successful newspaper like Novosti.”

Most serious allegations from Nacional: Zoran Djindjic
Photo: e-novine
Tobacco Mafia Was Angry at Djindjic (Glas Javnosti, 15.07.2005, by: Svetlana Vojinovic)

Vladan Begovic, currently director of the tobacco agency, openly talks about the pressures he was under as head of customs, decisions he had to make at his own initiative during the state of emergency and his cooperation with the late Prime Minister.

“Zoran never complained that anyone was threatening him and I know that he was firmly determined to prevent crime. We met 10 to 15 times at the most. Each time the sole reason was to discuss cigarette smuggling. The fact that we talked about this subject each time can be confirmed by Interior Ministry and DB representatives who attended the meetings,” said former head of customs Vladan Begovic for Glas.

*Beba Popovic was also present at some of them?

“Yes. Once, he and I had a fierce debate because he said that it was possible to ascertain the identity of the buyer on the basis of the barcode on the cigarette pack. This is not correct because a barcode can only tell you when the cigarettes were produced and then we can talk about the identity of the producer for whom the goods were meant. I personally don’t know if the Prime Minister had a grudge against anyone in the mafia, but I am sure that all of them had a grudge against Zoran because he asked all of us to act in a determined manner to uphold the law.”

*Keeping this assertion in mind, didn’t you feel that you needed to tell the authorities about this when the Prime Minister was assassinated?

“That is a good question. But this is not about my needs or conscience. This is about facts. I don’t know who killed Zoran, but I am nearly certain that economic interest stands behind his murder, not political purposes.”

*You are thinking of the interests of the tobacco lobby?

“Let us say so, but I would not rule out oil. Not to mention that I live in a country where as head of customs I was not even informed that the Prime Minister had been murdered, assassinated, and they accused me of letting the murderers escape from the country.”

*It sounds impossible that nobody in the authorities informed you so that you may increase customs security?

“As you see it is. When it happened, my deputy came to me. I was at a meeting and he told me that according to his information somebody important had been injured near the government building. So I didn’t know exactly what was going on. I sent orders to all checkpoints to heighten security and to keep in touch with the police, wondering what to write because I could not tell the customs staff if the Prime Minister had been killed or injured and didn’t know any details. I will not enter into other matters which are related to the Prime Minister’s security or any other important person, but this kind of relationship between authorities at such a time was an outright embarrassment for a state. Imagine that your Prime Minister is murdered and they don’t inform you about it.”

*Who was in charge of informing you?

“The police were. At one point in 2002, when the Prime Minister was still alive, I was extremely upset and angry with the organization by the authorities in Serbia for the departure of a government delegation to Obrenovac to attend the incineration of more than 30 tons of cigarettes. I even wanted to write to him personally after that to say how shamefully it had all been organized, particularly the security. Before we all started off together in a car, I remember Zoran said to Beba Popovic that emphasis should be put on the fact that cigarettes were being destroyed above all because they were damaging to health. Then we started off and even today I remember that the police were on the roadsides all the way to Obrenovac and our line, led by the Prime Minister, was ‘scattered’ at the very first road crossing when we entered Kneza Milosa Street. Zoran arrived first in Obrenovac and others came when the incineration had already started. By the way, later they tried to accuse me saying that the customs department wanted to hide a certain quantity of cigarettes, which was not true. The confusion was created mostly by Beba Popovic trying to promote the government. The truth is that that day over 30 tons of cigarettes were burnt, the amount which had been confiscated. Then Beba asked how much more confiscated cigarettes we had for that year. When it was all calculated, there was around 50 tons. I suppose that somebody had heard there was 80 tons of cigarettes, not 30, and the accusations against me began, even though the rest was burnt later in Smederevo.”

Disliked witness of Kostunica’s scandals: Vladimir Beba Popovic
Photo: Stock
*While you were head of customs, the case of equipment for Defense also became known to the public?

“After the murder of Momir Gavrilovic, it was said that when he was with Kostunica, one of the subjects discussed had been equipment for asphalt. Then the criminal police and Minister Mihajlovic asked Belgrade customs office for a report to see if customs procedures had been carried out according to regulations. When they said yes, there was silence until the idea surfaced somewhere that perhaps Gavrilovic had been murdered because of those machines. I asked for invoice verification because one part of the order had gone through Hungary and the other through Croatia. When we compared the documents, we saw an enormous discrepancy in the value of the machines. For one order it was around 450,000 Deutsche Marks, but the registered value was 1.5 million Marks. All of this we forwarded to the foreign exchange inspection. Then we asked the customs staff in Seychelles to tell us if the firm existed there and if this was the real value of the goods. This interested us because the company which had been reported as a foreign lessor was registered in Seychelles, but it had been reported in customs as import of machines on lease. While I was head of customs, the answer never came. Why? I do not even wish to speculate.”

*Did any of the tobacco bosses come to you for any references?

“I don’t know who these bosses are. Stanko Subotic was linked with cigarette smuggling, but surely heads have fallen because of tobacco. It was mentioned that Radovan Badza Stojcic was killed because of smuggling cigarettes and the killers have not been found to this day. While I was head of customs and later when I became head of the agency, I got a phone call from Dragoljub Markovic, the owner of Krmivo Produkt, to tell me that I was attacking certain firms, specifying ‘ours’, thinking probably that they were important to DOS, that this was not acceptable and that I should go to a meeting with the Prime Minister which had already been scheduled. There were also other calls by ministers asking me to employ certain people. But specifically there was never any interference of any sort from the Prime Minister’s Cabinet or Deputy Prime Minister Labus. Anyway, the next day I did go to that meeting, but Zoran never mentioned Markovic. He said that he was satisfied with my work and that I could always count on him.”

Cane Subotic Also Wants Kiosks in Montenegro (Glas Javnosti, 19.09.2005; by: B. K.)

Serbian businessman Stanko Cane Subotic is interested in the retail network of Duvanski Kombinat Podgorica (DKP), but he has still to make a final decision about the purchase. This was reported to Vijesti by a source close to Subotic’s firm Futura Plus in Belgrade which owns four cigarette distribution companies in Serbia, Duvan, Politika, Borba and Duvan Marketing. Stampa Komerc is the only cigarette retail company in Serbia not run by Subotic. It was formerly owned by Vanja Bokan who was killed in Athens a few years ago. By purchasing DKP kiosks Subotic will practically take over the entire retail network in SCG.

Subotic, now living in Switzerland, is known to the public in connection with the tobacco scandal from the Zagreb weekly Nacional in which he was referred to as the main figure regarding cigarettes traveling from Serbia to Montenegro towards Italy. Podgorica media say that the possibility remains open that if Subotic decides to buy DKP kiosks, he “will do so through a third firm, so that there is no scope for speculation and pressure.” DKP kiosks and the retail sector will be separated next month to form a separate firm Duvan Komerc. It will be offered for sale at the beginning of next year, at the latest. The Podgorica based company Roksped is also interested in the kiosks.

Subotic Victorious against Nacional (Kurir, 29.09.2005; by: J. K.)

Businessman Stanko Subotic Cane (46) appeared yesterday in Zagreb for the first time at the trial of the journalist and editor of the weekly Nacional, against whom Subotic filed a lawsuit. His Zagreb lawyer Slobodan Budak told Kurir that yesterday after several years one of the proceedings which Subotic had initiated, against Sina Karli, the chief editor of Nacional, had ended and she had been found guilty by the court.

“A total of three trials were held and Mr. Subotic gave his testimony at all three. These are libel cases over a series of articles published in Nacional from 2001 to date. Besides chief editor Sina Karli, other journalists sued were Jasna Babic and Srecko Jurdan. Yesterday finally the first verdict was given,” says Budak.

Even though the chief editor of Nacional was found guilty, she did not receive a prison sentence.

“The trend in Europe is not to send journalists to prison. This sentence is in fact a warning by the court and Nacional is obliged to print it in its next issue. So this is more a question of moral consequences,” says Budak. He said that Subotic had also filed several lawsuits claiming damages in Croatian courts. We remind our readers that during 2001, Stanko Subotic was constantly on the cover of Nacional, which published a series of articles about him as ‘the boss of the Balkan tobacco mafia’. Besides Subotic, Nacional also mentioned in the same context Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic and late Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic.

Subdued Media Reaction (Politika, 30.09.2005; by R. Arsenic)

Even though at a certain point stories about Cane filled up Croatian newspapers and magazines, including others apart from the recently penalized Nacional, reports of yesterday’s verdict in Zagreb found very little space in the media today. Radio and television programs, which were also loud on this subject earlier, are not saying a word. The verdict against Nacional’s chief editor Sina Karli in a libel case has not received any comment in domestic media as yet and reports have been limited to conveying a few basic facts about the trial along with a couple of remarks by Stanko Subotic.

Nacional kicked up a storm against Cane at the end of 2001 and continued during 2002 with sensationalist articles which placed him at the very centre of cigarette smuggling. Headlines such as “Main Mafia Boss of the Balkans” and “Mafia Partner of Balkan Prime Minister Trio”, give a good enough idea of the content of these articles.

These stories were conveyed by other papers as well. Only Globus talked to Subotic and in May 2002 published a long interview with him in which the ‘accused’ explained the matter.

Even then Cane claimed that it was a lie that his “main business was supplying cigarettes to the black market in Yugoslavia and Italy,” as the Nacional had written. They had also accused him of influencing prime ministers Djindjic, Djukanovic and Georgijevski with the leverage his “$500 million worth of assets” gave him, in his attempts to “build the largest tobacco empire in the Balkans”, and that he was an associate of the murdered Zagreb mafia boss Vjeko Slisko. 

Subotic denied all these and other accusations and presented a bit of interesting information concerning the current situation:

In 1999 in Geneva a Reynolds’ employee introduced him to Hrvoje Petrac with the explanation that he was “a very powerful and capable Croatian businessman, who owned a distribution company in Croatia and wanted to enter the tobacco business.” Cane said that he had agreed to meet him adding, “Petrac made a business proposition I did not wish to accept. After that I did not see him again,” said Cane.

At the moment Petrac is in Greece waiting for a decision concerning his extradition to Croatia where he is wanted for several crimes. It is suspected that he also helped Ante Gotovina escape. Meanwhile the story about Cane has changed significantly and now theories can be heard that the media campaign against him in Croatia was launched because of a struggle between cigarette producers at a time when the world’s largest firms were deciding to invest in Serbia, which is what happened as we know. Production of the profitable Marlboro left Croatia and stories about Cane simmered down. However, he filed libel lawsuits and the epilogue of one of them was seen yesterday.

Photo: quitsmokingpill2.com

A particularly intriguing fact is the granting of Croatian citizenship to Cane in June 1999, which he explained in a Nacional interview:

“I got my passport in a perfectly normal procedure. I submitted my documents and after six months of verification I got a positive answer. I wanted everything to be according to regulations and I came to Zagreb for the first time with my family. We spent several hours at the Interior Ministry in Petrinjska Street going from counter to counter, waiting in queues. My mother in law is Croatian and lives in Rijeka so I had family grounds to ask for citizenship. I got an opportunity to get the passport which was great because it resolved a lot of problems concerning visas and traveling…”

Regarding this Subotic also said that “during the war Montenegro and Croatia had a polite agreement under which Milosevic’s opponents and his gangs could travel abroad from the airport in Dubrovnik.”

Subotic Defeats Nacional (Politika, 04.10.2005; by M. Jankovic)

The Zagreb municipal court has upheld an earlier verdict in favor of Serbian businessman Stanko Cane Subotic versus the Zagreb weekly Nacional. The chief editor who allowed the publishing of defamatory material against him was found guilty, but an opportunity was missed to shed more light on whose interests it had served to declare Subotic a Balkan mafia boss.

The Zagreb municipal court’s verdict states that during 2001 and 2002 Nacional published a series of longer and shorter pieces by anonymous writers which were libel against Cane Subotic. In these articles Subotic was called the main mafia boss in the Balkans, a criminal, the biggest cigarette smuggler and one of the main figures connected to weapons, drug and human trafficking.

Since Sina Karli failed to prove allegations made in these articles under Croatian law, as chief editor of Nacional she committed crimes against honor and reputation. She was issued a court warning.

During the trial Sina Karli said in her defense that as editor she had completely believed the information in these articles offered to her by her colleagues to be true. Witnesses at the trial were Berislav Jelenic, one of the editors, and owner of the weekly Ivo Pukanic. Subotic also testified.

What did the plaintiff say before the Zagreb court?

Subotic said that he was a person never convicted, with not a single criminal case ever filed against him or criminal proceedings of any sort initiated against him. He explained that he had been running his private business since the age of 20 and that he owned several private companies in various EU countries, as well as in Serbia and Montenegro. Stanko Subotic said that he owned consumer goods companies which also did business in the tobacco sector. He said that he was registered as a tax payer in Switzerland.

No one among the journalists from Nacional ever contacted Subotic, states the verdict.

Subotic revealed that prior to the publication of the first article he had been pressurized, which had given him a hint of what was to come. Apparently a certain friend of Nacional’s owner Ivo Pukanic and others financing the weekly magazine, including Croatian ‘businessman’ Hrvoje Petrac, had asked Cane Subtoic to pay 1.6 million Deutsch Marks for not publishing articles against him. Subotic had refused and filed charges against this ‘friend’.

Who is this mysterious friend who offered this ‘deal’? Subotic presented the decision of the investigating judge of Belgrade’s second municipal court in the case against Ratko Knezevic and Ratko Djokic, suspected of attempted blackmail. The Zagreb municipal court accepted this evidence and concluded that it was accurate that Subotic had been blackmailed in an attempt to obtain money in ‘return for the favor of preventing defamatory articles from being published’.

All the responsibility fell on Nacional’s editor Sina Karli; however, the impression was that this had been an opportunity to go deeper into the issue of links between Croatian criminal elements and some media. Now everything remains in the domain of speculation. The editor will have to pay the expenses of the trial and Nacional is obliged to publish the verdict in full.

Blackmailed Subotic: Ratko Knezevic, Montenegrin playboy exposed
Photo: Facebook
Racketeering through Newspapers (Politika, 07.10.2005; by R. Arsenic)

After almost a year of silence, wealthy Serbian entrepreneur Stanko Subotic Cane (46) is once again the focus of the Croatian public’s attention. This time not because of accusations in newspapers that “he is the boss of the Balkan tobacco mafia”, rather as we reported earlier he has won his lawsuit against the Zagreb weekly Nacional which persistently presented him in that role.

While Nacional remains quiet about the verdict (which still hasn’t come into force), the Zagreb weekly newsmagazine Globus has published an interview with Subotic in its today’s issue, where he explains in detail what happened to him and why.

“It pleases me that the court has started doing its job, but this verdict has brought me little moral satisfaction because they have done irreparable damage to me in moral, financial and all possible terms,” Cane comments on the verdict.

“I asked for symbolic penalties because neither they nor the court can compensate for the irreparable harm they have done to me over these five years. I hope that there will be similar verdicts in other lawsuits I have filed against Nacional. The trials have been going on for a long time. I have to admit that during these four years I started doubting the Croatian judiciary, because everything seemed to show that that man was completely immune,” he says.

Explaining who that man was, Cane reminds us how Nacional presented him as “a smuggler and king of the Balkan mafia”, who was secretly cooperating with Djindjic and Djukanovic with whom, he stressed, he was friends publicly.

“Nacional used Goebbels style propaganda against Djindjic, Djukanovic and me. This is why I want to unmask the man who is at the top of Nacional together with all his colleagues.”

Among them, Subotic particularly mentions Ratko Knezevic who, after having parted ways with Djukanovic, is now living in Zagreb. Subotic says about Knezevic that he openly asked him for 1.6 million Marks which was allegedly the sum the Montenegrin government owed him. When Subotic refused, he started threatening with defamatory newspaper articles, which later began appearing in Nacional.

“Two or three days prior to the appearance of the first article, it was sent to me. It came indirectly through fax in Geneva. When I refused to pay 1.6 million Marks, the article got printed. This is why in March 2003 I filed charges against Knezevic in Belgrade. In May 2003 a detention order was issued against him.”

Stanko Subotic confirms that he gave financial support to Djindjic and Djukanovic, explaining:

“I provided financial support for bringing down Slobodan Milosevic’s regime by backing the political options presented by Djindjic and Djukanovic. I helped them because Milosevic’s regime was a threat to my family and me. Our offices, homes and flats were searched by various people. They took away all my rights to work and conduct my business. I did not even have the right to register a car. During the war they were bothered by the fact that I had obtained all my distribution rights through firms in Montenegro. I could have made sales through Marko Milosevic and earned much more, but like most people in Serbia I wanted change. This is why in 1997 I had to leave the country with my family.”

Subotic also talks about how the Nacional articles about himself, Djindjic and Djukanovic “suited Seselj”, who used them for political attacks on the two of them.

“First they were my collateral victims, then I became theirs,” says Cane.

Talking about acquiring Croatian citizenship (in June 1999), he repeats that he received it legally, gave it up and returned his Croatian passport in 2001.

“Since it was said about me that I got it in a criminal manner, owing to political acquaintances in Croatia, I asked the Croatian Interior Ministry to give a written statement to clarify the matter. They did not do so and I began suspecting that this was some kind of manipulation, so I got rid of it in a legal way. I have always had a Serbian passport and residence in Switzerland,” said Subotic for Globus.

Charges against Investigating Judge (Politika, 17.11.2005; Tanjug)

Lawyer Vlada Pavicevic, as a legal representative of plaintiff Stanko Subotic, filed charges against the investigating judge of the second municipal court of Belgrade Milan Milosevski for violating the Law on criminal procedure. The charges state that the judge acted in violation of the law by sending a request to relevant authorities in Croatia for hearing the accused Ratko Knezevic against whom investigation was ongoing and a warrant had been issued.

On May 23, 2001 Subotic filed charges against Knezevic, claiming that he had blackmailed him, by asking him for 1.6 million Marks in return for him not going to the newspapers to “make public things which could damage his honor and reputation.”

Cane and WAZ Expand (Vecernje Novosti, 25.03.2006; by S. V.)

Futura Plus company, whose co-owners are Stanko Subotic Cane and German media company WAZ, announced yesterday with verification from the securities omission, an offer for the takeover of the remaining shares in Duvan Marketing Kragujevac. Futura Plus already owns 91.08% shares in Duvan Marketing Kragujevac and now it has made its bid for taking over the rest of 8.94% shares. The deadline for shareholders to deposit their shares for sale is April 13.

Another bid is also underway by Futura Plus for taking over the rest of the free shares in the largest newspaper and cigarette retail chain Duvan Belgrade. Futura Plus already owns 92.37% shares in Duvan Belgrade and March 28 is the deadline for owners of the remaining 7.63% to deposit their shares for sale.

Both takeover bids state that besides these two retail chains, Futura Plus owns another three, Politika Prodaja, Poslovni Klub Borba (former Borba Marketing) and Dnevnik Prodaja from Novi Sad. Futura Plus has 100% ownership in the Politika distribution network as well as in Poslovni Klub Borba. In the Dnevnik retail network it owns 67%.

With these five tobacco and newspaper retail companies, Futura Plus has become the absolute ruler of the market. It is interesting that German WAZ became co-owner of Futura Plus by bringing to the company its ownership in Politika Prodaja.

Wine and Cigarettes (Politika, 15.05.2006; by N. Opacic)

The trailer for Brankica Stankovic’s show this evening says that businessman Stanko Subotic Cane, who has frequently been associated with cigarette smuggling, will for the first time speak publicly on Insajder.

We ask the presenter of Insajder why she is interviewing Stanko Subotic at this particular point in time?

“Because we have dealt with the subject of cigarette smuggling in the last few shows,” says Brankica Stankovic, “I remind you that two months ago, in a show about Marko Milosevic, we revealed that a report exists from a secret police operation Mreza (network) which in 2003 investigated cigarette smuggling in the region. This report however was kept secret until we disclosed its existence in Insajder. Minister of Police Dragan Jocic confirmed this only a few days after we made it public. Then all media began talking about this report, even the special prosecution for organized crime got involved, and in this report Stanko Subotic Cane is mentioned as a main cigarette smuggler…”

*Why did he agree to talk for the first time in this show?

“We have been trying to talk to him for two and a half years. During that time I called him thousands of times. He never said he didn’t want to talk, but he always excused himself by saying it wasn’t the right time. Now we called him regarding this police report because this show will be about him. I imagine that this is also the reason why he agreed after a month of persuasion. However, Subotic’s remarks about that police report are very interesting, as well as his claim that it will certainly raise a lot of new questions which somebody will have to answer.”

*Where was the interview filmed?

“It was filmed in Burgundy in France where Subotic owns vineyards and a winery. Among other things he also produces wine which is sold throughout the world including the White House.”

Fond of racketeering: Dusan Mihajlovic, the honest one
Photo: Stock

*What new things is he saying about cigarette smuggling which the public doesn’t know?

“Until now Stanko Subotic has not spoken publicly about cigarette smuggling or any other allegations against him. He became known to the public in 2001 when the Croatian weekly Nacional started the story about the tobacco scandal. It is interesting that Subotic sued Nacional for the publications against him and won the lawsuit in Zagreb. But that is a subject with which Insajder will deal in one of its upcoming shows because we have found evidence which clearly shows why in 2001 the tobacco affair was presented in Nacional. Subotic, by the way, had exclusive distribution rights for almost all international cigarette producers. In our conversation he also speaks about how he entered the tobacco business. The story about the beginning of the business is very interesting.”

*Subotic’s name is also linked with many politicians…

“For Insajder Stanko Subotic Cane speaks about the famous airplane with which Zoran Djindjic flew, about his contacts with Milo Djukanovic, Jovica Stanisic and Radovan Stojcic Badza, about why he never appeared in public and many other important matters which the viewers will have the opportunity to hear about for the very first time. So far we have only heard various stories about him but we have never heard what he has to say and what his response is, to many of the statements and claims made against him in public.”

In an exclusive interview with TV B92 show Insajder, Subotic reveals that he knew about the investigation against him from the very beginning because Dusan Mihajlovic, minister at that time, had informed him of it.

B92: The investigation was ordered by Dusan Mihajlovic. The operation was so secret that even his assistant didn’t know about it.

Subotic: I was informed a few times about some report. I don’t know which report you have. Others, as well as the Minister of Police, called me to visit him in 2003 to tell me something about that operation.

B92: And what did he tell you?

Subotic: He told me that an investigation had been carried out and that it had been concluded that everything in connection with me and my company was alright and legal.

Milan Beko’s official weapon: Manjo Vukotic

Ostali članci iz rubrike Feljton

Feljton: Decenija nezavisnosti Crne Gore (9)

Kad je "žabljački referendum" bolji


Feljton: Decenija nezavisnosti Crne Gore (8)

Cunami velikih stratega


Feljton: Decenija nezavisnosti Crne Gore (7)

I zvanično: Lele i kuku


Feljton: Decenija nezavisnosti Crne Gore (6)

Kad sila Boga moli


Feljton: Decenija nezavisnosti Crne Gore (5)

Žuta traka za Crnogorce


Feljton: Decenija nezavisnosti Crne Gore (4)

Deset razloga ZA i hiljadu neistina PROTIV