COURT OF B&H

Ventilators mafia: Mustafa Kadribegović confirmed that there was no decision to purchase ventilators

Hasan Ganibegović, former chief of staff of FB&H Prime Minister Fadil Novalić, will testify on Friday

B. Cerić

Novalić's arrival at today's hearing

Foto: A. Saračević


At today's continuation of the trial of Prime Minister Fadil Novalić and others for the purchase of 100 ventilators worth 10,530,000 KM in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, witness Šeherzada Halilović, director of the private company "Ultrašped", and Mustafa Kadribegović from the Federal Civil Protection Administration, who was a member of the Federal Civil Protection Staff at the time of the procurement of the disputed ventilators, were questioned.

Witness Halilović said that in April last year she was in contact with Fikret Hoddžić, the owner of the company " Silver raspberry", after Kristijan Marić from Mostar told her that Hodžić would call her. Hodžić called her from Banja Luka and said that he was importing goods worth 10 million marks, and asked what he needed from the permits.

She stated that during the conversation, when asked if ventilators would be imported all at once or successively, he said "they told me they would take care of it", and that she thought that in question was the FB&H Government.

Mustafa Kadribegović confirmed today that on April 1, 2020, a decision was made to dispose of seven million marks for the purchase of medical equipment and funds, but that there was no decision for the purchase of ventilators.

300 ventilators

Kadribegović also said that on April 1dt, at the telephone session, they were supposed to declare the allocation of funds, but the e-mail they received did not state the specifications about the ventilators or any other information.

He reminded of the earlier statement he gave to the Prosecutor's Office, in which the Commander of the Federal Staff, Jelka Miličević, stated that it was necessary to make a decision on the redistribution of funds and that about 300 ventilators had to be purchased.

- There was a general story about the redistribution of funds and decision-making, but it was not said that these millions will be set aside exclusively for ventilators. It was about funds for special purposes, and later I learned that part was allocated from the current reserves of the Government of the Federation of B&H - said Kadribegović.

In his notes, he saw that additional funds had been allocated from the FB&H Government and the FCPA, and subsequently found that there were certain disagreements when it came to prices.

In addition, Kadribegović said that he had no information about other FCPA contracts with "Silver raspberry" but that he learned about them from the media.

He found out about the purchase of 100 ventilators for 10.5 million marks only on April 25, when 80 ventilators arrived at the Airport.

The ventilators were transferred to the FCPA warehouse in Bolnička Street, and it was a large tent. He stated that the Medicines Agency gave a period of seven days to transfer the ventilators to another warehouse, which is proper, because the FCPA was not the place to store this type of medical devices.

He was told by the Agency that ventilators could be stored in hospitals as well, but no hospital accepted that. "Hercegovinalijek" said that they would store ventilators for free for six months.

He noted that they initiated a lawsuit against the Medicines Agency because they demanded that FCPA be registered as a wholesaler.

After the suspension of the accused Solak, Kadribegović held the position of acting director of FCPA.

Acting Director of FCPA

Hasan Ganibegović, the former chief of staff of FB&H Prime Minister Fadil Novalić, will be called as a prosecution witness at the next hearing scheduled for Friday, October 8.

Apart from Novalić, the Minister of Finance of FB&H Jelka Milićević, the suspended director of the Federal Administration of Civil Protection Fahrudin Solak and the owner of the company "Silver raspberry" Fikret Hodžić are also accused of this disputable procurement.

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