Changes in the Assets of the State Ministers

Monday March 19th, 2012
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By The Center for Investigative Reporting

In the past two years, the chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Nikola Špirić, has acquired a family estate and a more luxurious car, while his savings increased about 80,000 KM.

At the end of January, before his appointment to the post of BiH Minister of Finances and Treasury, he disclosed information about his education, political and professional career and personal finances. All members of the new BiH Council of Ministers did the same.

The Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo (CIN) published on its web page www.cin.ba the statements of 20 newly appointed state officials.

In his statement Špirić said that he owned a family estate in the Drvar area. Just like two years earlier, he said that he owned a three-and-half room apartment in Banja Luka and two-and-half room apartment in Novi Sad, while his son and daughter owned two-and-half room apartments in Novi Sad and Vienna. In comparison with the previous years, he disclosed that all that apartments had come with garages. Špirić no longer owns an Audi A6; he has upgraded to an Audi A8.

He is the only official of the newly appointed Council of Ministers who disclosed information on his savings. His savings are higher than in 2010 when he declared €48,060, $38,600 and 85,000 KM. At that time, Špirić added that he owned €80,626, $78,240, 21,700 Swiss Franks and 4,085 KM.

Most of the state ministers and their deputies have been candidates in previous elections so their earlier asset cards exist for comparison.

CIN reporters found that Vjekoslav Bevanda, the chairman of the Council of Ministers; Zlatko Lagumdžija, the minister of foreign affairs; Sredoje Nović, minister of civilian affairs; Mirko Okolić, deputy minister of defense and Damir Hadžić, minister of communication and traffic, declared new assets.

The chairman of the BiH Council of Ministers declared that he had inherited a summer house in Donja Blatnica, while his wife continued to own an apartment in Split.

In his financial statement Lagumdžija pretty much restated the data from 2010. He repeated that he co-owned three apartments—two in Sarajevo and one in Dubrovnik—and he also owned a family estate.

He filled in the card that he owned “this should be an unknown ownership stake in the family house and land in Trebinje, as a result of inheritance via the mother’s line”.

According to the land records that CIN published in the asset database of politicians on www.izaberi.ba, Lagumdžija has co-owned 1,800 square meters in Trebinje since 2001. He did not report these real properties in his asset card two years ago.

Nović reported that he bought a summer house under construction on JAN. 19 in the Pale municipality and that the title process has been undergoing. In the beginning of 2007, he wrote that he owned a Golf 5, while now he reported having an Audi A4.

In his new declaration Nović also said that he used an apartment belonging to the government of Republika Srpska in Banja Luka of 99 square meters and that his wife owned an apartment in Belgrade of 40 square meters and a garage in Banja Luka of 12 square meters size.

In his 2010 asset declaration Okolić submitted in the run-up to the General Elections, he wrote that he owned an apartment, and in the new declaration he also declared sharing an ownership of 3,268 square meters of land in Doboj.

Hadžić’s new asset cards shows a garage he did not report in 2010.

The other ministers and their deputies reported no new assets.

The state officeholders reported personal income, as well as real property and vehicles, but without stating their value. Most of them did not report on their personal savings or shares owned and loans taken. Many did not report on property their spouses and children own. In fact, no such entry exists to be filled in on the asset cards for candidates for the BiH Council of Ministers and as such they do not allow for the full view into their property.

First published on Feb. 17, 2012

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The Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo (CIN) work is available for free to all organizations that credit CIN as their source and link to www.cin.ba.

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