As revealed by portal Cenzolovka, the Media Centre, a company owned by one of the two largest journalists’ associations in Serbia, the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia (NUNS), borrowed around €50,000 from current opposition politician, businessman and former Belgrade mayor Dragan Đilas. According to former Anti-Corruption Council president Verica Barać, Đilas controlled the media in Serbia thanks to his huge influence on the advertising market, especially while he was in power as a member of the Democratic Party.
Media Centre, a company specialised in event management, borrowed the money to repay the accumulated debts, mainly related to unpaid taxes, lease fees, property maintenance costs and lost legal cases. According to the contract, the money was lent without interest and with a repayment deadline of 10th July 2020.
NUNS president Slaviša Lekić told Cenzolovka that neither he nor NUNS had participated in this deal, but rather the decision to borrow money from Đilas was made by Media Centre director Branko Gligorić. However, he notes, this company contacted many donors and sponsors to help them repay their debt, only to end up reaching an agreement with Đilas. The former Belgrade mayor refused to comment on the loan. Lekić also stated that “no concessions were asked for from NUNS (in return for the loan), nor NUNS would agree to make any. Not to Đilas or to anyone else”.
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