Director of APC hid income of 70,000 euros


Author: Tina Popović (Independent Daily Vijesti)

The Director of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption (APC), Jelena Perović, hid the sale of an apartment, and income of 70,000 euros from the public.

Official data on the Agency’s website show that Perović did not submit a separate report 30 days after she had sold an inherited property.

According to the documentation obtained by “Vijesti”, Perović sold the apartment in September 2022, and prior to the conclusion of the agreement on the purchase of the property, the Director of the Agency was paid 22,000 euros.

That money was not reported in a separate report, while the remaining 48,000 was used to close the loan that Perović had in one of the commercial banks operating in Montenegro.

Excerpt from the purchase agreement

Excerpt from the purchase agreement

In August 2021, Perović submitted an extraordinary report, in which she reported that she had inherited a 43-m3 apartment. She sold that property a year later.

Data on the sale of the Perović’s apartment was obtained by “Vijesti” with the help of the MANS’ platform for support to investigative journalists.

“The Director of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption, Jelena Perović, had no legal obligation, as no other public official has, to submit a report on the increase in assets of over 5,000 euros when selling real estate, because in this particular case, it is not about the increase in assets, but about its transition from immovable to movable. Director Perović informed the Agency about the sale of the apartment in question and submitted the agreement”, the Agency answered the question of “Vijesti” why Perović did not report the change of property after the sale of the apartment, i.e. why the transaction was not recorded in the official database available to the public.

The Law on Prevention of Corruption is clear – an extraordinary report shall be submitted in case of changes from the report that relate to an increase in assets of more 5,000 euros, within 30 days from the date of change. That regulation also foresees a fine ranging from 500 euros to 2,000 euros for public officials who have not fulfilled their legal obligations.

The Director of the Investigative Centre of the Network for Affirmation of the Non-Governmental Sector (MANS), Dejan Milovac, told “Vijesti” that the APC continues to work on establishing the practice of, at the very least, creative interpretation of the law, to which MANS has already warned.

“We pointed out back at the example of the former President of the Supreme Court, Vesna Medenica, that there is a real danger that the interpretation of ‘change in the form of property’ will be informally adopted by the APC as a rule by which decisions will be made in similar cases, and when it suits someone” Milovac said.

MANS has repeatedly pointed to the need for APC as an institution to be fundamentally reformed, and the legal framework to be aligned with European standards and take into account the specifics of Montenegro’s context.

“For years, we have had an institution whose management staff cannot be a model of behaviour for any public official when it comes to professional integrity, but as we can see in this case, when it comes to basic respect for the laws and regulations of this country as well. It is particularly problematic that we are talking about one of the institutions that, when it comes to checking of assets, should be the first line of defence against conflicts of interest and corruption”, Milovac warns.


With the response related to Perović, the Agency officially informed public officials that the sale of real estate does not represent a change in the form of assets.

However, the Agency took such a position for the first time in November 2019 in the case of the former president of the Supreme Court, Vesna Medenica. The Agency then claimed that Medenica did not break the law by not reporting that she had sold a land in Kolašin for around 140,000 euros.

In the decision rationale, signed by the then assistant director, Savo Milašinović, it is stated that in 2016, a check was ran for the then head of the Supreme Court, and that no discrepancies were noted in relation to the data kept in the official records of other state bodies.

In July 2015, Medenica sold more than 27,000 square meters for 139,000 euros, and she never submitted an extraordinary report on the increase in assets, even though the then Law on Conflict of Interest stipulated that, due to changes in assets exceeding 5,000 euros, she had to submit a separate property record.

Data from the Secretariat for Economy and Finance of the Municipality of Kolašin, in which the MANS Investigative Centre had an insight to in 2019, show that Medenica sold her plots in the village of Ravni at a price that was ten times higher than the market estimate.

In 2015, the Secretariat for Economy and Finance of the Municipality of Kolašin found that the market value of around 27,000 meters was slightly more than 12,000 euros, i.e. around 0.40 euros per square meter on average. Medenica sold that land for around five euros per square meter, i.e. ten times more than the market price at which the Municipality of Kolašin calculated the tax.

After MANS published the investigative story, she responded by claiming that she had sold the land “below the price”.

The Special State Prosecutor’s Office filed an indictment against the former head of the Supreme Court, Vesna Medenica, her son Miloš and several other persons, for criminal offenses – creation of a criminal organization, smuggling, giving and receiving a bribe, unlawful influence and instigation to unlawful influence, abuse of office, drugs smuggling, unlawful possession of weapons, inflicting serious bodily injury and obstruction of production of evidence.


Perović’s predecessor, the former director of the Agency, Sreten Radonjić, also did not report the loan of 40,000 euros, which he received from the Government under favourable conditions. Radonjić received the loan in January 2018, and first reported it in 2020.

Thus, it was after two years that it became known that Radonjić was paying back 73.5 euros per month for the loan that the Government Commission for Housing granted him in January 2018, and which, as he reported, he had had since December 21 of the same year.

At the time, the Agency told “Vijesti” that Radonjić did everything according to the law, i.e. that he subsequently reported the loan. In August, Radonjić said that until then “I had not realized the mentioned loan funds (through adaptation, purchase, etc.), and therefore, it could not have been recorded as a change in the property record for 2018”.


Recently, Perović also signed a decision according to which the former high-ranking state official Ivan Brajović was also not obliged to report selling around 4,500 square meters of land near Danilovgrad for 150,000 euros.

The rationale was the same – it is about “changing the form of assets – from immovable to movable”.

The decision states that Brajović did not violate the then Law on Prevention of Conflict of Interest, and that he was not obliged to submit an extraordinary report due to the change of assets of more than 5,000 euros, although in 2013, he sold the land in Kosić for 150,000.

Perović also states that during the investigation, Brajović stated that he had sold the land “to pay back the debts he had”.

“…In other words, he fully paid back the debts he had with Podgorička banka. According to him, he reported this change through the report on assets and income for 2013, where he did not state that there was a loan with Podgorička banka, which he declared in the report for 2012,” Perović’s decision reads, which is anonymized, but it can be concluded from the content which official is in question.

​It is further stated that the Agency reviewed its database, the Agreement on the sale of land, the credit order on debt settlement to Podgorička banka from December 30, 2013, but also the credit order to Atlas banka from the same date.

“Upon inspection of the Purchase Agreement from October 26, 2013, it was established that a former public official … sold the property marked in the real estate list no. 39, Cadastral Municipality Jastreb, as cadastral plot 3005, Kosić, third-class meadow, area 4,467 square meters, to the company ‘Free energy’ for the amount of 150,000 euros. Upon inspection of the credit order on settlement of debts to Podgorička banka, it was established that the former public official paid 49,097 euros into the account of Podgorička banka for a housing loan”, the decision reads.

The decision states that the Agency found that Brajović had paid 70,535.93 euros into the account of Atlas Banka, which is now in bankruptcy, after reviewing the credit order for debt settlement. However, the Agency does not state the purpose of Brajović’s payment to Atlas Banka.

​According to the available data, in the annual report on assets and income for 2012, Brajović reported three loans, to Podgorička banka (50,000 euros), Hypo Alpe Adria (60,000 euros) and Crnogorska komercijalna banka (30,000). He had no debt in Atlas Banka, owned by a fugitive businessman Duško Knežević.

A year later, after the sale of the land, he reported loan debts to Hypo Alpe Adria and Crnogorska komercijalna banka.

At the beginning of 2019, Duško Knežević connected the sale of land in Kosić with the repayment of Brajović’s debt on a revolving card in Atlas Banka. Brajović never reported that debt to the Agency for Prevention of Corruption, and according to Knežević’s claims at the time, it was around 50,000 euros.

“I have not had debts towards Atlas Banka since 2013. I have already replied to the journalist’s question – I settled the debt on the card by selling a part of the inherited land. There is documentation about this with all competent authorities, to whom I reported this transaction in a timely manner. I sold the land to an interested legal entity, about which a notary deed was drawn up, and I have all the necessary documentation on that,” Brajović stated at the time.

​From 2013 until today, he did not report any cash or savings, although he should have a surplus of around thirty thousand euros after settling his debts to two banks, which he submitted to the Agency as an evidence in the proceedings.

“A contract is not a contract…”

Last week, a preliminary hearing was held before the Basic Court in Podgorica regarding the lawsuit filed by the state of Montenegro against Jelena Perović.

​The state of Montenegro demands that the Director of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption compensate the market value of the apartment that she received under favourable terms for violating the contract that she, as a then judge, signed with the Basic Court in Cetinje in early 2018.

According to documents from the trial obtained by “Vijesti”, Perović’s attorney, lawyer Nikola Martinović, claimed that the contract “is not a contract on the purchase of an apartment.”

“…Because at that moment, the subject of the contract did not exist, neither the building, nor the apartment. Therefore, the housing issue cannot be resolved with that contract”, Martinović said, the minutes of the preliminary hearing state.

The court ordered an expert report by a construction expert, who is supposed to evaluate the real estate of nearly 87 square meters, which Perović obtained under special conditions and then sold.

The state initiated the dispute against the Director of the Agency following the initiative of MANS at the end of November 2022. MANS then urged the institution of the Protector of Property and Legal Interests to request compensation for damages on behalf of the state due to non-fulfilment of the contractual obligation when purchasing an apartment under favourable conditions.

According to the contract, which was then submitted by MANS to the institution of the Protector, Perović did not fulfil the obligation stipulated in the contract – she did not remain in the position of a judge for five years, i.e. until 2023, instead, she moved to the head of the Agency, and sold the apartment.

What Perović reported for 2022

During 2022, the salary of the director of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption (APC), Jelena Perović, was generally 1,715 euros, while during ten months, she received a variable compensation of around 440 euros.

According to the report on income and assets, as a member of the Working Group for determining the list of public officials, Perović received an additional 400 euros per month.

In her property record, it is written that as a lecturer at the Centre for Training in Judiciary and State Prosecution Service, and in February and July last year, she received 100 and 200 euros, while in September, she received a fee of 150 euros as a lecturer at “Congress Travel”.

According to the Director of APC, she is the owner of a two-room apartment of 69 square meters. She reported owning 7,000 euros in cash and a housing loan of 75,000 euros, which she pays back in monthly instalments of 494 euros. In the property record, it is stated that she has two loans on Visa Gold and Master Gold cards in the amount of 2,000 and 1,000 euros, which she pays back in instalments of 367.21 and 32.30 euros.

Compared to the annual report on assets and income for 2021, Perović omitted a mortgage loan in the amount of 36,000 euros.

According to the Law, official are obliged to submit an annual report on assets and income for the previous year no later than the end of March of the current year.




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