Serbian Foreign Minister testifies in Galenika corruption case
Serbian Foreign Minister and Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) party leader Ivica Dacic has confirmed that he testified as a witness on the Galenika corruption case, the Serbian newswire B92 reported Aug. 1
“I testified about how the government reacted when the payment crisis happened, and I was asked what the government’s policy was when it comes to favoring certain companies in the market,” Dacic said, as cited by the newswire. “I spoke only about the government policy in that period, not about my responsibility.”
Dacic also expressed his willingness to testify again, if necessary, and added that according to this knowledge the case concerned favoritism shown toward the German company Stada to the detriment of Serbian pharmaceutical company, Galenika.
“I was told at the time that the government was advised that the factory [Galenika] cannot sell drugs directly, but only through wholesalers,” stated Dacic, as cited by B92. When asked who from the government informed Dacic about it, Serbian foreign minister advised it was “the minister of health at that time.”
He continued saying: “The goal was to make sure the Germans did not get angry and leave the country – the goal was to reach a compromise.” Dacic also added that “The ministers, who served at that time, should speak about Galenika’s business,” as reported by the newswire.
Ivica Dacic also disclosed that he learned from the court that former Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic, former Economy Minister Mladan Dinkic and former Secretary of State in the ministry of Economy Nebojsa Ciric will all be asked to testify in the case.
The Galenika corruption scandal erupted in May, when three investigations into the questionable dealings in Galenika, which was run by SPS officials, resulted in arrest of: former Galenika general manager Nenad O., Galenika’s chairman of the board and then SPS director Dejan B, and assistant general manager for economic affairs at the company Dragan S.
In connection to Galenika’s corruption probe, police also arrested Dragoljub V., the former CEO and chairman of the board at Velefram, formerly Serbia’s biggest medicine wholesaler, and Velefram’s CFO, Miroslav M.
The suspects are believed to have caused losses of about EUR 75 mln to Galenika from November 2008 through 2012 in order to provide financial gain to Belgrade-operating legal entities within Velefarm Holding and to the holding’s CEO, Dragoljub V.
The process of privatization of state-owned pharmaceutical company Galenika was one of the 24 questioned privatizations, for which 135 people have been questioned so far, and all indictments have been confirmed.