“DEP-OT” series: Dirty money in the regional dump – Part II

“DEP-OT” series: Dirty money in the regional dump – Part II

After we published the first part of the story: "DEP-OT" series: Dirty money in the regional dump, the reactions of the company management were franti

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After we published the first part of the story: “DEP-OT” series: Dirty money in the regional dump, the reactions of the company management were frantic, and as is usually the case in our region, the “weakest” were the first to pay the price. The workers who separated the waste at the landfill were sent home the morning after the publication of the text, and the management tried again to hire them through the company “Grand”, which did not agree to the conditions that the DEPOT demanded from them, and from the contract, at least for now, there is nothing. The sources of our portal reveal that it was not profitable for the company “Grand” to hire workers based on employment contracts. At the moment, no one separates waste at the landfill, but as we have learned, DEPOT is looking for a solution.

Not long after, the machinists at the landfill were also killed (who are suspected of having sent a video of undeclared workers to our editorial office), who for the first time after 19 years of the company’s existence did not receive a 10 per cent salary incentive! The incentive is obtained on the proposal of the company’s manager (Marko Balaban) and is signed by the director (Željko Savić), and it has been granted practically every month during the previous 19 years.

However, this is where the illegalities just begin. Namely, the director at the time, Novo Grujić, illegally fired the worker David Kelečević, who then sued and won DEP-OT in court! Grujić fired Kelečević against the law and thereby damaged the company for more than 30,000 convertible marks, including the principal debt and late interest!

In the judgment of the District Court in Banja Luka dated September 6, 2022, it is stated that the prosecutor’s employment was terminated illegally, because Kelečević was not 65 years old at the time of termination of employment, while Kelečević was not 65 years old at the time of delivery of the decision on termination of employment, but almost a year and a half younger.

David Kelečević tells our portal that it was not the first time that they tried to fire him illegally and that he immediately warned the director that he would sue the company.

“After they gave up the first time because I threatened to sue them, I thought the case was over. However, they apparently assigned my position to another person, so on June 17, 2019, I got fired. I want to emphasize that I tried to resolve the entire dispute through the Agency for Peaceful Dispute Resolution, but it did not work. Then I sued DEP-OT and as you can see, the court ruled in my favour”, Kelečević points out.

DEPOT does not comment too much on the court’s verdict, but expresses regret that there were no more legal remedies.

“David Kelečević met the conditions for an old-age pension and was paid severance pay, and only when he acquired the status of pensioner did he file a lawsuit for violation of rights from the employment relationship. In its verdict, the court accepted Kelečević’s lawsuit and thus determined that the appointed person can have the status of a pensioner and the status of an employee at the same time. A review could not be filed against that verdict due to the value of the dispute, and there were no legal conditions for other extraordinary legal remedies”, explains acting director of DEPOT Željko Savić and adds that after the termination of Kelečević’s employment at DEPOT, the jobs of regular procurement and of public procurement were combined into one position and, as he claims, a worker with appropriate professional qualifications was assigned to that position.

It is interesting that Savić does not say why Novo Grujić was never held accountable for the illegalities he carried out, but quite the opposite – he was rewarded with an abnormally high salary coefficient.

They paid for the land they did not buy

However, by far the biggest scandal happened recently, less than half a year ago. Namely, when DEP-OT was founded, the City of Banja Luka gave land worth about 65 per cent of the company’s total shares, after which it was determined that DEP-OT should pay 2.66 million KM in order for the land of the regional landfill in Ramići to become its property, which DEP-OT did, after which it built its facilities on the land in accordance with the approvals of the Ministry of Spatial Planning, Construction and Ecology. It is important to point out here that the land in question has always belonged to the city, but before DEP-OT paid it off, the company “Čistoća” a.d. Banja Luka had the right to use it, and therefore “Čistoća” was registered as a user, and not as the owner.

During the establishment of the DEPOT, Banja Luka withdrew the previously granted right of use and the right of ownership over the land by the Decision of the Commission for the Exhibition of Real Estate dated November 30, 2016, belonged to DEPOT until the first lawsuit of the company “Čistoća”, that is, the verdict of the District Court in Banja Luka on June 9, 2022. Basically, the verdict determines that DEP-OT is the holder of the right of use for the purpose of construction, which RUGIP states in its decision from 2020. The president of the court panel, in this case, was Sanja Stefanović.

The court completely ignored the fact that DEP-OT acquired the right of ownership, that is, purchased the city land, and the price of everything is paid by the citizens of the cities and municipalities who are the founders of the company. Here, it is important to point out that the majority owner of “Čistoća” is the controversial businessman Mladen Milanović Kaja, who is often associated in the public with the current mayor of Banjaluka, Draško Stanivuković, while the director of DEPOT in that period was Novo Grujić.

From DEPOT they state that five procedures are currently being conducted regarding the ownership of the Regional Landfill in Ramići.

“It was about a non-litigation proceeding at the Basic Court, an administrative dispute at the District Court, an administrative dispute at the District Court of Banja Luka following a lawsuit to examine the legality of the decision on the registration of real estate in favour of Čistoća, a dispute following a lawsuit filed by Čistoća for possession with the District Commercial Court in Banja Luka and in front of the Supreme Court of Republika Srpska, where proceedings are being conducted to examine the legality of the judgment of the District Court of Banja Luka on the basis of which the ownership of the landfill was registered in favour of Čistoća”, they point out from DEPOT.

Written by: Stefan Blagić