US Prosecution office submiitted to Montenegrin judicial authorities documents on the ‘Telekom’ affair

telekom

Podgorica, April 27, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Adnan Prekic

After more than three years from the “Telekom” affair on the alleged corruption in the privatisation of state-owned telecommunications company, Montenegrin prosecutor’s office received evidence from the United States on this case. The whole corruption case was not detected in Montenegro, but in America, as the US Securities and Exchange Commission found that in the privatisation contract in 2005 there were a couple of corrupt acts.

Montenegrin public is very interested in this case due to one of the people who is supposedly involved in a corruption deal, the sister of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic – Ana. The investigation on the “Telekom” affair was launched in late 2011 after US authorities say they have evidence of corruption during the privatisation of Telekom. US authorities have determined in the purchase of Telecom, Magyar Telekom had bribed at least two Montenegrin officials – as mentioned in these documents, “the lawyer, a sister then the highest government officials” – with a total of 7.35 million euros.

The Ministry of Justice submitted to Prosecution ample documentation on the case of Telekom, which is based on international legal assistance, delivered last week from the US judicial authorities. The Montenegrin prosecutor’s office earlier upon review of existing documentation stated that there was no evidence of corruption in the case of Telekom. However, after the election of a new state prosecutor, Ivica Stankovic, the case was reopened and supplemented by evidence that had arrived from the US.

U.S. Embassy in Podgorica last year announced that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has evidence of corruption in the privatisation of Montenegrin Telekom in the 2005. The U.S. Commission for the Securities and Exchange Commission has discovered evidence of corruption in the privatisation of Montenegrin Telecom, after the completion of the legal process against three former directors of the Hungarian Telekom. The company operates within Deutsche Telekom, which is listed on the American Stock Exchange, and the case was based on the suspicion that they violated United States’ accounting and anti-corruption regulations. The documents from the trial against the three former directors of the Hungarian Telekom also mentioned corruption through fictitious contracts of the consulting services in Montenegro.

During 2012, the montenegrin media reported that U.S. investigative authorities received information that in 2005 the Euromarket bank conducted over payments related to the“Telekom” affair in the amount of 2,324,325 euros. US officials discovered that someone at the bank misused the identity of the Mexican writer Oscar Ramirez. The investigation determined that the alleged Mexican Oscar Ramirez opened the account of the company’s investement assets on April 21 2005 in Euromarket, in which the Hungarian Telekom on May 12, 2005 paid 2,324,325 euros. After five days, all the money was withdrawn from the bank account, while the account and the company shut down.

Ana Djukanovic, sister of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, had rejected accusations earlier that she accepted bribes. On November 2012 she announced that Montenigrin Telekom through the company Sigma, paid her 246,000 euros for working on the process of the “legal reorganisation” of the company. This was confirmed by Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, who has denied involvement in corruption, stating that his sister received 246,000 euros for making the legal agreement.

Source: Independent Balkan News Agency (Montenegro)