The Appeal Court of Brčko District sentenced Nedžad Izić, former expert witness for architecture, to six years in prison on charges of committing fraud to obtain loan.
In 2008, Izić appraised a plot of land to 7.2 million KM even though its market value was 15 times less. Based on his appraisal “Oil Metal Company” from Maribora mortgaged the land with New Ljubljana Bank for a 20 million KM loan.
In an earlier case, the Basic Court in Brčko concluded that the expert witness had known that the real property’s value was much lower than his appraisal because he had provided two opinions for the same land. Both featured the exact amount, except one was in euros and the other in convertible marks.
The Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo (CIN) has already written about faulty appraisals of this expert witness. In 2009, Izić appraised the land belonging to Forš company from Tuzla at nearly 22 million KM for the purpose of the loan. Because of this appraisal, Izić has been on trial before the Municipal Court in Tuzla. According to the opinion of expert witness Fahrudin Delić the property was worth only 3.6 million KM.
The Cantonal Court in Tuzla sentenced Izić earlier to a deferred sentence of six months for abuse of expertise. His appraisal stated that a Stojak company, that owns a chicken farm in the village of Breške near Tuzla, invested 266,400 KM in renovation, reconstruction and enlarging of its facility in 2010. The company needed Izić’s appraisal to apply for capital investment subsidies from the FBiH Ministry of Agriculture, Waterworks and Forestry in 2012. It was established during the trial that half of the appraised sum was invested into the building and that there were no new investments in 2010. After the conviction, the FBiH Justice Ministry removed him from the list of expert witnesses.
According to allegations of the FBiH Department for Inspection Affairs, Izić erred when he estimated the date of construction of a part of Distillery MN, a fruit processing facility in Seona near Srebrenik. Inspectors also questioned the size of a warehouse and a packaging facility at Ilija Stojak’s farm in the village of Gornja Obodnica near Tuzla. The Ministry of Agriculture ordered the companies to return subsidies they had received.
CIN also wrote about other expert witnesses who falsely established the time of construction, overstated property investment or the size of facilities. Some also described nonexistent facilities. Based on false appraisals of 22 expert witnesses, farmers in FBiH collected 588,000 KM worth of subsidies that they were later ordered to return. Not one-tenth of the amount has been returned.
CIN has published the records about appraisals that expert witness carried out on behalf of farmers whose subsidies were eventually refuted by the FBiH Department for Inspection Affairs.[:]