The business and political lobby, headed by the co-owner of United Group, Dragan Šolak, and the leader of the Party of Freedom and Justice, Dragan Đilas, has mounted a new attack against Kurir, Wireless Media, and Telekom though Đilas's officer and vice-president. Their aim is to put pressure on our company to stop writing about all their machinations and shady deals. But, we have the same message for them on this occasion – no can do.
This lobby has at the same time continued to unlawfully pressure the Government's Anti-corruption Council and Serbia's Office of State Prosecutor: Đilas and Šolak's chief storm trooper filed criminal charges yesterday against Telekom's general manager Predrag Ćulibrk, member of the Council Miroslav Milićević, and State Prosecutor Zagorka Dolovac.
Persecution and dragging through the mud
It remains unclear, however, why the Anti-corruption Council has been noticeably silent under pressure from the business and political lobby and its media. A question poses itself as to why the Council follows the dictates of this lobby and allows N1 and other United Group-owned media to be their sole channels of communication with Serbia's general public. This is why we are asking the Council what their intention is: to defend their objectivity, impartiality, and operational independence, and open up to other media outlets; or to safeguard their "exclusivity" for no one else but United Group's media. Until then, what is left is a bitter impression that the Council follows the dictates of the business and political lobby and serves the interests of Šolak and Đilas.
But, let us start from the beginning. Đilas's officer, tasked with dragging the competition through the mud without a leg to stand on, has kept up the persecution – grossly misleading the public yet again, trotting out the same old fabrications, falsehoods, and indiscriminate accusations regarding the contractual relationship between Telekom and Wireless Media. To reiterate – this contract is neither fictitious nor fake, as the business and political lobby keeps insinuating to the general public. The fact is that Đilas's officer had at one time made publicly available an incomplete copy of the contract by means of theft.
Another fact is that the officer snuck a peek at a legal matter that is in fact a commercial contract, containing no public law elements, authorizations, or interests, i.e. having no effect on public property or finances. And there is more: The business lobby in question has dragged the Anti-corruption Council into this dirty game of theirs. The reasons for the Council's interest in such a contract are utterly unusual and inexplicable as, according to the information available on the web page, this body "is concerned with individual cases only if they point to a broader phenomenon, which foregrounds the sources of large-scale corruption in the economy and politics."
Granting themselves powers
The business conducted between Wireless Media and Telekom does not have so much as a hint of using public property, budgetary funds, or anything else lying outside market-based business operations and contractual relationships holding between two legally equal economic agents.
One can therefore ask what sort of powers the Council has granted itself, or has been artificially granted by the business and political lobby, allowing certain Council members to take the lead addressing this topic in public, as the prominent members of Šolak and Đilas's lobby's political wing prompt them from the background. We have good reason to suspect that in this case the Council will not act as the Government of Serbia's advisory body, with authority to analyse activities in the fight against corruption, propose measures to be taken in order to fight against corruption efficiently, monitor their implementation, and launch initiatives for passing laws, programmes, and other legal acts and measures in this domain. Instead, the business and political lobby would like to turn the Council into a pseudo-judiciary body which passes judgements on the lawfulness, legal validity, and potential harmfulness to the contracting parties of a particular legal transaction between two economic agents.