Jelisaveta Vasilić is, one may say, under serious suspicion of being in a conflict of interest. She has been, in the course of weeks, negatively commenting the operation of Telekom Serbia, which is a market competitor of the United Group, within which operates the television where her daughter Katarina Bajec has a show.
It is noticeable that over the past weeks Vasilić has several times criticised the work of Telekom, mainly in the media owned by the United Group – N1 and Nova S. However, it is interesting that she is doing it in her personal name, and not on behalf of the entire Anti-Corruption Council. Therefore, it can be openly asked whether she is doing it because her daughter has a business deal with the television which is a part of the United Group and to which Telekom is the main rival.
We were also told in the Council that Vasilić is speaking in her own name. Miroslav Milićević, the Vice-President of the Anti-Corruption Council, states that the Council still does not have an official report about the operation of Telekom.
– She has already clearly said that she is speaking in her own name, and when the Council’s report is issued, it will be the official report and attitude of the Council – stated Milićević.
It is unclear why Vasilić continues to speak about Telekom although the Council’s report has not been completed.
In an interview for Kurir, asked about the conflict of interests, Vasilić tried to justify herself in a rather unusual way – by claiming that she does not live with her daughter and that she has not heard about the company which owns the television on which her daughter has a show.
– I know not of that company. It is private and the Council does not deal with it at all. I do not know even whether they are competitors. I look at corruption in state-owned and public enterprises. I do not deal with the United Group at all. You should ask my daughter because I do not know. We have been separate families for a long time already, I have three children and each of them has their private life, their professions, jobs, and I do not live with them. Call her and ask her – said Vasilić.
Yesterday, we asked the United Group about the engagement of Katarina Bajec. They answered she “is not employed in the United Group company on any of the positions”. Asked to explain her engagement on TV Nova S, we did not receive an answer before the issue of Kurir was completed.
Kurir also tried to get a comment from Katarina Bajec, we did not manage to reach her.
Lawyer Zora Dobričanin believes that a conflict of interest may be present here:
– A daughter is “the blood relative of an official in the first line”, and employment relationship of a daughter in a company can represent a relationship of dependence of the official and can influence the impartiality of the official in the situation when he has to decide between two opposing, conflicting or competitive companies. If there is a doubt that such possible influences exist, the competent Board for the Resolution of Conflicts of Interests should decide, so as to eliminate such doubt. I believe it is just necessary to apply the law which is clear.
Marko Matić: She abused the position
Analyst Marko Matić says for Kurir this is “a groundless and malicious campaign against Telekom”.
– It is evident that for the sake achieving private interests, Vasilić abused her position in the Anti-Corruption Council, which is why she should, without delay, resign from membership in this government body.
Kurir / Photo: Medija Centar, screenshot Happy TV