Dodik to N1: BiH Prosecution's allegations against me are politically motivated

NEWS 30.03.2022 18:42
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Source: N1

The Bosnian Serb member of BiH’s tripartite Presidency, Milorad Dodik, told N1 on Wednesday that the allegations against him regarding the ‘Pavlovic Bank’ case are “politically motivated” and that there is no evidence he committed any crime, arguing that if this was the case, he would have been prosecuted years ago.

Dodik, who is also the leader of the ruling party in Bosnia's semi-autonomous Republika Srpska (RS) entity, was questioned as a suspect in the ‘Pavlovic Bank’ case on Tuesday.

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Prosecutors are looking into Dodik’s purchase of a villa in Belgrade, which he bought with a loan from Pavlovic Bank in the amount of 750 thousand euros.

The case was initiated in 2016 based on allegations that the bank provided a fictitious loan to Dodik.

Dodik said prosecutors told him three things during the questioning.

Firstly, he said prosecutors claim that the money he received from the Pavlovic Bank is of unknown origin.

“At the bank in 2007, the credit committee approved that loan and transferred it to my account. There are documents proving that” he said, explaining that the bank is obliged to keep the documentation for five years.

He said that the contract from 2007 stipulated a four percent interest rate which was then increased to seven percent in 2008.

“As of 2008, that loan from 2007 does not exist because it was closed. The documentation was kept until 2013, and in 2016, the prosecutor started the investigation and said that the contract did not exist at all,” he said.

He said the second thing the prosecutor noted was that there is allegedly a seal of the RS Government in the documentation. Dodik vehemently denied this, saying that he is prepared to go to prison if it was the case. He strongly denied that the RS Government had anything to do with the loan.

Finally, he said the prosecutors claim that someone else was paying loan instalments for him.

“Why was this initiated in 2016? This is absolutely politically motivated,” he declared, claiming that this is also what prosecutors implied.

“They have no evidence, and if they did, they would have detained me,” he said.

Dodik revealed what he discussed with the Russian Ambassador in BiH, Igor Kalabukhov, when they met on Tuesday.

“There are certain business operations that the Russians have here. We had a conversation earlier about building a gas pipeline towards Banja Luka and we had some conversations related to the construction of gas power plants. These are environmentally friendly projects. We also signed a memorandum on that. When the situation normalises, we should start talking about it again,” he said, stressing that the construction of such a pipeline would hugely benefit Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity.

“We got the preferential price of Russian gas and by introducing Gazprom, building gas pipelines and thermal power plants, we would keep that price low for the whole of BiH,” he said.

The Bosnian Serb political leader also said he is sure that he and his party will win the upcoming general election in BiH, but would not reveal what post he plans to run for.

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