The judge of the Court of Appeal in Belgrade, Zoran Savić, together with his business partners, provided funds for the construction of 13 apartments in on the Kopaonik Mountain called Vila Pahulja, reports KRIK.
In addition to that investment Savić and his wife, also a judge, already own three apartments in the centre of Belgrade and a house on the Avala Mountain.
It is not clear how this couple of judges can afford certain properties. According to the calculation done by KRIK, a married couple should have saved for more than 25 years to acquire so many properties. The KRIK article also says that Savić’s career has been marked by several controversial court rulings, including the trial of Stanko Subotić Cane and Zvonko Veselinović.
Savić has a salary of about 2,500 euro as a Court of Appeal judge since he is assigned to the Special Department for organized crime, while his wife’s salary is about 1,500 euro.
Discover the most important foreign investments in Serbia in 2019: click here!
“Provided they have not spent their earnings on anything else, this couple of judges would have had to save for more than 25 years to buy all the properties they own,” says KRIK.
In the Court of Appeals, Savić presided over the panel that overturned the conviction of former Environment Minister Oliver Dulić and sent for a re-trial, as well as the judge that overturned the verdict that sentenced the former director of Serbian Railways, Milanko Šarančić to five years in prison for embezzlement.
He was also a judge who acquitted criminals close to the SNS party, Zvonko Veselinović and Milan Radoičić, who were charged with participating in the theft of leased trucks, as well as a judge who confirmed the acquittal of the criminal Sreten Jocić (also known as Joca Amsterdam), accused of organizing the murder of the Croatian journalist Ivo Pukanić in 2008.
The most controversial decision of Judge Savić, however, was when he and his colleagues released the controversial businessman Stanko Subotić Cane.
Zoran Savić, born in 1958, became a judge in the late eighties at the first Belgrade municipal court. After more than ten years, he was promoted to High Court and then to the Supreme Court. Since 2010, he has been working at the Belgrade Court of Appeal, where he has been a judge in some of the most important proceedings in the country as a Special Department for Organized Crime judge.
During the court proceedings following the assassination of the Serbian Prime Minister, Zoran Đinđić, Savić was a member of the jury of the Supreme Court of Serbia, which confirmed the conviction of members of the Zemun criminal clan. He was also among the judges who annulled the acquittal of Željko Maksimović and his associates for the murder of Police General Boško Buha in 2002.
Subotić was originally sentenced to six years in prison in 2011 for cigarette smuggling in the 1990s and after the change of government in Serbia, the verdict was overturned and there was a re-trial. The new trial was riddled with controversies, from changing witness statements to the sudden appearance of new evidence in Subotić’s favour. In 2014, the High Court acquitted Subotić, but the prosecution appealed against this verdict.
After more than a year of waiting for Savić and his colleagues in the Court of Appeals to decide on the appeal of the prosecution, some of the charges have become statute-barred. Then, at the end of 2015, Subotić was released. The group chaired by Savić rejected part of the prosecution’s evidence about Subotić’s involvement in cigarette smuggling.
The Supreme Court of Cassation concluded in May 2016 that this decision was made illegally. The new decision, however, could not stop Subotić from being released because the law had been violated in his favour. However, the responsibility of the judges for the illegal release of Subotić was never discussed.
Nevertheless, the Supreme Court of Cassation, the highest court of justice, assessed that Savić, over a period of three years, “performed his judicial function with great success”.
(021.rs, KRIK, 03.11.2020)
This post is also available in: Italiano