By: Luka Perš
We are revealing the background of the activities of central actors in the Bosnian story of the 15 percent commission and the share in the energy company IGES, which was the predecessor of the GEN-I energy company that is led by the latest “new face” of the left-wing politics in Slovenia, Robert Golob. The story of the construction of hydropower plants on the Neretva River began in 2006, when the Bosnian government, under the then-leadership of Ahem Handžipašić, and with the consent of the President of the Bosnian Presidency, Haris Siljadžič, issued a concession to the company Intrade, to build two hydropower plants on the upper Neretva River in 2008. And the majority owner of Intrade was the aforementioned IGES company. As part of the Bosnian public and politics (Fahrudin Radončić, owner of the Dnevni Avaz media outlet and one of the richest Bosnians) was against the idea of the Sarajevo company, led by Director Nihad Spahalić, getting the deal in question, the whole thing ended before it even begun, after a video of talks of corruptive business practices among those involved was revealed in 2009. However, it is clear that the whole game was being played for Robert Golob by Nihad Spahalić and the former mayor of Mostar and Bosnian businessman Safet Oručević. Oručević comes from the large Oručević family. It is a known fact that Zijo, Huso, Ibro, Ibrahim and Husinja Oručević committed war crimes in Camp IV. – Mostar Primary School. Husinja and Ibrahim were sentenced to a year and a half in prison by The Hague. However, we have uncovered even more coincidences related to this family, as Elma Oručević, assistant to Slovenian MEP Irena Joveva in the European Parliament in Brussels, also comes from the Oručević family.
To make the whole story a bit easier to understand, we will briefly present to you the history and origins of the GEN-I energy company. In 2002, after leaving the post of State Secretary for the energy sector in Rop’s government, Dr Robert Golob founded the private company Strela-G, which quickly became part of the larger company Istrabenz, under the leadership of Igor Bavčar. Janko Kosmina, former Director of Istrabenz, and Bruno Korelič, former long-time Director of the Port of Koper, also agreed with Bavčar’s appointment. And these two men are the key players when it comes to running the energy business throughout this story. At the end of 2002, the Istrabenz company recapitalised Golob’s company with just under one million euros, and thus, the Istraben energetski sistemi (Istrabenz energy systems) company was formed. In 2004, the company Gorenje joined it, and thus, the Istrabenz-Gorenje company was established under the leadership of Robert Golob.
In 2006, the then-Janša government bought out Gorenje’s share, and the company GEN-I was created, with a 50 percent share being owned by the state and the other 50 by the Istrabenz energetski sistemi (IGES) company. And why is all this important? Because the whole Bosnian story took place between 2006 and 2009. All indications show that the whole project failed after a video was published by the media outlet Dnevni avaz, owned by Fahrudin Radončić, one of the richest people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of the key players in the Bosnian energy sector. The whole thing was actually run by old “coastal structures.” This was also revealed in the article entitled “Nihad Spahalič, Intrade Energija: Bavčarjev trojanski konj” (Nihad Spahalić, Intrade energy: Bavčar’s Trojan horse) from 2013, which is available on the website Bhadni.
The Oručević family was involved in war crimes
In the controversial video, the former Mayor of Mostar, Safet Oručević, and Director of the Intrade company, Nihad Spahalić, appeared. Oručević founded a non-governmental organisation in Mostar, supported by the globalist capital of the George Soros business circle, called the Centre for Peace and Multi-ethnic Cooperation. The website still says that Oručević is the NGO’s Director. At the beginning of the article, we have already written that part of the Oručević family committed war crimes in Mostar, for which they were convicted at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague. But it should also be noted that Elma Oručević, assistant to Slovenian MEP Irena Joveva, also belongs to the Oručević family.
Safet Oručević is also the owner of the Austrian company IUC Consulting GmbH, based in Vienna. His company has collaborated with Poor, OMV, Vatech Hidro and many other companies. It is mainly involved in the construction of real estate and energy projects in the area of Southeast Europe (the area of former Yugoslavia).
In the past, he was also the owner of the commercial television station TV1 (today, it is called Kanal O – channel O) and the owner of online media outlets vijesti.ba, 24sata.info, biznis.ba, energetika.ba and cuvajzdravlje.ba. As we have heard from well-informed Bosnian sources, one of his political players is none other than Valentin Inzko, the former High Representative of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is known that Inzko comes from a part of Austrian Carinthia, which means that that was an excellent entry point for Austrian companies for the construction of energy facilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The disputed video also presented part of the content of the discussion, namely, that the company Istrabenz energetski sistemi (IGES) and Oručević, who would have carried out the deal through the Austrian OMV, had agreed on the deal. As we have learned, it is Oručević who has been shaping the energy future of the entire Balkan network of OMV for a long time now through his company.
Spahalić got the job on the Neretva in 2006 already – and without a public tender
The web portal Siol has revealed part of Nihad Spahalić’s business past. The story of building the hydroelectric power plants on the upper Neretva River began in 2006. At that time, the Bosnian company Intrade, the majority of which is owned by Istrabenz’s IGES, which was under the leadership of Robert Golob at the time, was selected to build hydroelectric power plants on the Neretva. The problem arose because part of the Bosnian public was angry with Slovenian and the Ljubljana NLB bank for causing Bosnian savers damages in the amount of 100 million German marks at the time. Spahalić is said to have gotten the deal due to an own-initiated offer, without a public tender, Bosnian journalist Senad Pličan revealed.
The latter challenged Spahalić on the 12th of October 2006 at a press conference at the Collesium casino in Sarajevo. Spahalić then said that a new company would be established for this business, where Slovenian partners would have a maximum 2 percent ownership share. Spahalić’s offer was accepted by the Bosnian government, led at the time by Ahmet Handžipašić. And this is where the first problem arose. In the event of the establishment of a new company, the Bosnian government should have repeated the process of obtaining a concession for a hydroelectric plant on the Neretva River. But all indicators show that Spahalić had excellent connections at the top of the Bosnian government, so he literally did not care about Bosnian laws.
Spahalić is a former arms dealer
Bosnian journalist Pličanin also wrote that Robert Golob is a man with whom the former arms dealer, Nihad Spahalić, is leading a project to build the hydroelectric power plants on the Neretva River through their joint venture Intrade Energija. What is interesting is that Spahalić also previously sold the Šahinpašić bank to the NLB bank, as he was a partial owner of the former, together with the “controversial” Bosnian businessman Senad Šahinpašić Šaja. And Golob also boasted that the Neretva project is his life’s work.
We also found an article on the Inforbiro website that was published in Slobodna Bosna in 2004, entitled “Intrade continues to sell weapons.” In it, the authors describe how Nihad Spahalić sold grenades for multi-barrel rocket launchers – namely, the Oganj type, worth 2 million US dollars, through the company Intrade Consulting. The shipping company Maha šped, which was owned by Mile Maha, was also involved in this business deal. However, Maha was later killed – who knows why?
The whole Intrade story was perfectly presented by our colleagues at the Siol web portal. After Intrade was sold to Istrabenz for 15 million euros, it has now become one of the Petrol company’s subsidiaries. In 2020, it was renamed to Petrol Power, d.o.o.