Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport director in 48-hour police detention
Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport director Velimir R. has been arrested on abuse of office and placed under 48-hour police detention, the Serbian newswire Tanjug reported July 2.
“Acting on an order issued by the Higher Public Prosecutor’s Office in Belgrade, the Belgrade police department for economic crime placed Velimir R. in detention of up to 48 hours on suspicion of office abuse,” the Serbian Interior Ministry stated in press release, as cited by the newswire.
Velimir R. is suspected of autonomously concluding a business deal in January 2010 with the Hungarian low-cost airlines Wizz Air, thus causing a loss of more than RSD 207 mln to the airport. The former Nikola Tesla Airport director is believed to approve the Wizz Air’s use of airport services below cost, including a 20 percent travel tax discount, although such conditions could not have been offered to any company at the time.
Such favorable conditions for the use of airport services were introduced as an option by the Serbian government on Dec. 30, 2012, and can be offered only if specific criteria are met, which, in this case, Wizz Air has failed to meet.
Nevertheless, based on the contract signed with Velimir R. and dated Jan. 29, 2010, Wizz Air enjoyed special privileges in using Belgrade’s airport services at a lower price from as early as of June 12, 2010.
The Serbian Interior Ministry stated that Velimir R. has been charged with causing the loss of almost RSD 207.5 mln to the Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, which is the amount Wizz Air has gained as a result of the adverse terms in the contract from January 2010.