Serbia Arrests Ex-Deputy PM in Agrobanka Affair

Police arrest more suspects in the case of the state-owned bank, including former deputy Prime Minister Jozef Kasa.Prime Minister Ivica Dacic confirmed on Tuesday that police had arrested a former deputy prime minister and former director of an Agrobanka branch office, Jozef Kasa, and three other persons.

They are suspected of involvement in dubious dealings while granting and using the bank’s assets in the northern town of Subotica.

Kasa, Zoran Malesevic, Pedja Malisanovic and Miomir Paovica are suspected of abusing their official positions to incur damage to the now bankrupt bank.

Kasa is suspected of having abused his office while head of Agrobanka’s branch in Subotica, when Malesevic was his deputy.

Malisanovic is the owner of three companies: Azohem, Mala Bosna, and Azotara Subotica, while Paovica is a court-appointed expert.

According to the public service broadcaster, RTS, Malisanovic gained over 13 million euro in the process.

Kasa was deputy premier in the government of the late Zoran Djindjic and then his successor, Zoran Zivkovic.

Kasa was also a former leader of a political party, the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians, SVM. He was expelled in 2010 for criticizing his party colleagues.

The National Bank revoked Agrobanka’s licence in May when it was discovered that the bank was 300 million euro in debt.

Its obligations and deposits were taken over by Nova Agrobanka, founded by the former Democrat-led government.

The new government has pledged to get to the bottom of the Agrobanka affair.

So far, 14 suspects, including the former president of the board of directors, Dusan Antonic, and his son, Milan, have been arrested.

Aleksandar Vucic, the first Deputy Prime Minister in charge of corruption, predicted in late Ocober that the investigation will not wind up soon.

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