Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina delivered Judgement in Case of Branko Kovacevic for Organized Crime

March 11, 2020 9:00 AM

 

Having held a hearing to entertain a plea agreement and a sentencing hearing, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina /Court/ delivered a judgment in Branko Kovačević et al. on 9 March 2020, finding the accused Branko Kovačević guilty of a continued criminal offense of Tax Evasion or Fraud under Article 210 paragraph 4 as read with paragraph 1, all in conjunction with Article 54 of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CC BiH), while the legal entity HORIZONT d.o.o. Banja Luka is guilty of a continued criminal offense of Tax Evasion or Fraud under Article 210 paragraph 4 as read with paragraph 1 and Articles 54 and 124(1)(c) of the CC BiH. The Court sentenced the accused Branko Kovačević to one (1) year imprisonment. As an accessory punishment, the Court imposed on the accused a fine amounting to 10,000.00 BAM, to be paid by the accused within six (6) months after the judgment became final. If the accused fails to pay the fine partly or wholly within the set deadline, the fine shall be substituted by imprisonment.

The Court imposed on the legal entity HORIZONT d.o.o. Banja Luka a fine amounting to 15,000.00 BAM, to be paid within six (6) months after the judgment became final. If the fine is not paid within the deadline specified in the judgment, enforced collection procedure shall be applied without delay. At the same time, the Court revoked the ban on status changes of the legal entity that would result in removing the company from the Court Register.

The accused Branko Kovačević is guilty because he, in the period between 2016 and 2017, intending to evade payment of duties required under the tax legislation of BiH, submitted false information on facts which may affect the determination of the amount of such liability, and the amount evaded exceeded 200,000.00 BAM. Legal entity Horizont d.o.o. Banja Luka disposed of illegal gain totaling 358,428.00 BAM that was acquired by the accused Branko Kovačević in his capacity as director on behalf of and for the benefit of the legal entity. The legal entity acquired gain in the said amount, damaging the Budget of BiH.

In the case of Branko Kovačević et al., the Court confirmed, on 30 September 2019, an indictment charging the accused Branko Kovačević with the commission of a continued criminal offense of Tax Evasion or Fraud under Article 210(4) in connection with Paragraph 1, all as read with Article 54 of the CC BiH, and the legal entity “HORIZONT” d.o.o. Banja Luka with the commission of a continued criminal offense of Tax Evasion or Fraud under Article 210(4) in connection with Paragraph 1 and Articles 54 and 24(1) c) of the CC BiH.

At the arraignment held on 11 November 2019, in the case of Branko Kovačević et al. the accused Branko Kovačević and the accused legal entity “HORIZONT” pled not guilty of the criminal offense of Tax Evasion or Fraud under Article 210(4) in connection with Paragraph 1 of the CC BiH.

The main trial was initiated on 20 January 2020.

Having held a hearing to entertain a plea agreement and a sentencing hearing, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina /Court/ delivered a judgment in Branko Kovačević et al. on 9 March 2020, finding the accused Branko Kovačević guilty of a continued criminal offense of Tax Evasion or Fraud under Article 210 paragraph 4 as read with paragraph 1, all in conjunction with Article 54 of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CC BiH), while the legal entity HORIZONT d.o.o. Banja Luka is guilty of a continued criminal offense of Tax Evasion or Fraud under Article 210 paragraph 4 as read with paragraph 1 and Articles 54 and 124(1)(c) of the CC BiH. The Court sentenced the accused Branko Kovačević to one (1) year imprisonment. As an accessory punishment, the Court imposed on the accused a fine amounting to 10,000.00 BAM, to be paid by the accused within six (6) months after the judgment became final. If the accused fails to pay the fine partly or wholly within the set deadline, the fine shall be substituted by imprisonment.

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