Testimony of a businessman who reported a Bosnian judge for bribery

NEWS 29.04.2021 14:56
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Source: N1

Senad Hoermann, a businessman from BiH and the founder of Sevoi Financial Consulting doo, explained, in an exclusive interview for N1, how he was a victim of corruption, how he was asked to pay a bribe in the amount of €1,000 which led to the arrest of the Banja Luka Court Judge Nebojsa Pejovic on April 21, in an operation codenamed "Barka".

In 2019, Senad Hoermann registered a company in Banja Luka called Sevoi Financial Consulting d.o.o. However, after only a year, the Sevoi Group from Belgrade initiated proceedings asking Hoermann to change the name of his company. The Banja Luka Court then decided that Hoermann must change the name of his company, however, Hoermann claims he did not receive the Court decision at that time.

“The judge brought a decision against my company that I must change the name of my company within the prescribed time limit, otherwise, the request for the company registration would be rejected. This is nonsense because the company has been operating for two years and now they're classifying it as if it was never even registered. I never got that decision physically, and then Judge Pejovic appeared on behalf of some of his colleagues,” Hoermann told N1, expressing suspicions that such a conclusion was reached through corruption, noting that his company is also engaged in the implementation of corruption management systems.

“Precisely because the company deals with this (corruption), we are professionals in the field, it is easy for us to notice if something happens in that way. I also mentioned this to Judge Pejovic,” Hoermann said, adding that he agreed to a meeting with the Judge, who contacted him and suggested that they see each other.

“Judge Pejovic said that he and his team wanted to help me. The conversation with Pejovic came down to this: You will give us €1,000, to begin with, that is your entrance, to show goodwill, and we, in turn, because we have the information that there will be additional lawsuits, will start protecting you,” said Hoermann, pointing out that after this conversation, he turned to Bosnia's special police called State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA).

“I received help immediately. I congratulate them (SIPA) in terms of their speed, professionalism, knowledge and desire to help citizens,” he said.

In cooperation with SIPA, Hoermann organized a new meeting with Judge Nebojsa Pejovic, at which he was supposed to give him the requested €1,000. That is when Pejovic was arrested.

“I deeply believe in the system, I believe in the goodwill of all citizens, honest people in the public sector. There are many of them,” Hoermann said adding that from what he could gather regarding his case, “this is a negotiated justice, which they have organized for themselves. That each judge from the group has five or six lawyers, where they agree, who will win, who will lose. Then they come in from the other side, to extort money.”

The fight against corruption is done on the ground

The fight against corruption is done on the ground, we mustn’t watch everything in a lump sum,” said Hoermann. “If one judge is corrupt, not all of them are. If one is corrupt – we will single him out and help the people.”

Because of all this, he said he receives threats, threatening messages, which is why many would give up. He has not given up, nor will he, he claims. He also explained why.

“I didn't know that Viber (a messaging app) and other messengers had disappearing messages. I received messages like – ‘we know where you are’, ‘we know who you are’. This doesn't scare me,” he pointed out.

Hoermann suspected eight persons

Hoermann said that it is those who threaten him that are most afraid. Now, his goal is to expose and reveal other members of the group with whom Judge Nebojsa Pejovic allegedly cooperated.

“It’s about eight people, according to our information, they are connected to the Ministry of Justice of the Republika Srpska entity. We can't talk about names because of the investigation. When the prosecution comes out – I will come out with their names,” he said.

Banja Luka Judge Nebojsa Pejovic under the suspicion of having committed the crime of trading in influence. He was arrested after the video of the handover of money was made.

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