At the time while he, in the capacity of a Special Envoy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia performed duties of the Secretary-General of the United Nations General Assembly (UNSG) and received a paycheck in the amount of USD 8,000 from the citizens of Serbia, Vuk Jeremić was involved, in parallel, with private “consultancy services” and, as evidence suggests, was a part of an international high corruption network. Jeremić’s alleged consultancy services were practically meeting his business partner Patrick Ho with leaders and ministers of foreign affairs he met while travelling all over the world serving as the Serbian head of diplomacy, under the pretext of preventing Kosovo’s independence at the taxpayer’s expense.
Research team of the Media Network Antidote came into possession of exclusive photos proving that on 05 April 2013, at the time he was serving as the Serbian envoy on the position of UNSG President, Vuk Jeremić took part in a series of business meetings held in Hong Kong, subject of which were business deals between private companies worth millions. According to photos journalists of Antidote received from Hong Kong and photos confirming it, Jeremić, in his capacity of the consultant-mediator, took part in a meeting between heads of the Mexican state oil conglomerate PEMEX and Chinese oil company China Energy Company Ltd (CEFC).
In addition to Jeremić, his friend from Harvard Emilio Austin Lozoya was present as well, in the capacity of the first man of Mexican PEMEX, as well as Chan Chauto, member of the Board of Directors of the company China Energy representing on that occasion the President of the company Ye Jianming. Patrick Ho was also present, as the Secretary General of China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC) at that time.
Even though, during his testimony on the Patrick Ho trial in court in New York, Jeremić said that in April 2013, on his way to Chinese Davos that was held on the island of Hanan, he only met Lozoya and Ho in Hong Kong, the photo evidence suggests that his role in this deal was much deeper from the role of a person simply joining two of his acquaintances. At the meeting of delegations of two oil companies, headed by Lozoya and Chauto, Jeremić was present in the capacity of the delegation of the Mexican company and took minutes as the right hand of Lozoya. Even though Chinese Davos lasted from 06 to 09 of April 2013, Jeremić came to Hong Kong eight days earlier, on 28 March, where he participated in a series of meetings with Ho on which future business deals were agreed. As with all other travels he took while performing the duties of the head of diplomacy and Special Envoy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jeremić’s eight-day private trip to Hong Kong was paid by the citizens of Serbia securing full budget while presiding the UNSG.
In addition to obvious abuse of function and state resources entrusted by Jeremić, presence at the meeting in the capacity of a private consultant at the time of performing duties of the Special Envoy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vuk Jeremić directly violated the Law on Anti-Corruption Agency, as well as the laws and regulations prescribing rights and obligations of state officials. Using state resources of Serbia, that allocated between 3 and 7 million euro during Jeremić’s presiding over UNSG, Jeremić performed private affairs that cannot be linked to the function he occupied without the permission of competent authorities.
Even though, according to all available evidence, he started providing consultancy services for CEFC and PEMEX before March 2013, Jeremić requested approvals for these business arrangements from the Assembly administrative board in September and November 2013. By performing aforementioned private business without the approval of the Anti-Corruption Agency while holding state office positions, Jeremić violated the Law on Anti-Corruption Agency that explicitly states the following in Article 30:
“An official may not perform other jobs or engagements during his/her tenure in public office which require full-time working hours or full-time employment.
As an exception to paragraph 1 of this Article, an official may engage in research, educational, cultural, humanitarian and sports activities without Agency approval if by doing so he/she does not compromise the impartial discharge and dignity of public office. An official is required to report incomes from these activities to the Agency.
If the Agency determines which engagement or job referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article compromises impartial discharge or dignity of public office or represents a conflict of interest it shall set a deadline wherein the official is required to cease such engagement or job.
With the exception of engagements or activities specified in paragraph 2 of this Article, the Agency may, at the request of the official, give consent for performing also other engagements or activities. The official shall attach to the request a positive opinion of the authority electing, nominating or appointing him/her to public office. A civil servant holding office is required to attach to the request consent from his/her direct supervisor. The Agency is required to decide on the complete and proper request within 15 days of receiving the request.
If the Agency fails to issue approval within the time-frame stipulated in paragraph 4 of this Article it shall be deemed that it has given approval to perform other engagement or job.
The Director of the Agency may define by general act jobs or engagements for certain categories of public officials which they may engage in without approval referred in paragraph 4 of this Article.
Other law or regulation may also prescribe other jobs or engagements which a public official may not perform during tenure of office.”
Despite clear legal provisions Vuk Jeremić failed to report and seek approval from the Anti-Corruption Agency for the performance of commercial private activity while in public office at the UN for which he received a net salary of USD 8,000 per month from the Budget of the Republic of Serbia!
As previously written by Antidote, Jeremić received a commission of USD 180,000 from PEMEX for his consultancy services, and 1.34 million USD from CEFC for the same service. Also, due to Jeremić’s “credits”, CEFC directly and through related companies paid additional 4 million USD to Jeremić’s non-governmental organization.
Jeremić Secured the “Energy Sector Reform” of Mexico Through Lozoya
As Antidote wrote before, at the meeting held on 06 April 2013 in Hong Kong, preliminary agreement was achieved on the investment of the Chinese company into Mexican oil and gas wells even though, at that time, Mexican legislation prohibited foreign investment in that area! In addition to a fairly reasonable question what the President of the UNSG is doing on a meeting between two companies, the question what motivated Jeremić to mediate this agreement that was illegal at the time, obviously, requires an equally important answer. From the events that followed it became clear that Jeremić, through his associate Lozoya (close friend of the Mexican President Nieto), influenced the Mexican President to, one year later, under the pretense of “energy sector reform”, initiate the change of legislation and allow the participation of foreign investments in this area of business. Considering the identical pattern applied by Patrick Ho in Chad and Uganda, and the one applied in Mexico, where large and profitable deals were secured by bribing high public officials, there is a reasonable doubt that high corruption involving Vuk Jeremić took place in the case of “Mexico energy sector reform”.
The fact that Jeremić, in his capacity of the President of CIRSD, in the following 2014, visited Mexico testifies of his intensive interest in the Nieto’s “energy sector reform” of Mexico. Thus, Jeremić, in the capacity of CIRSD President, on 09 May 2014, visited this Central-American country, where he discussed plans for Mexican energy market opening to foreign investments with the officials of the Mexican Ministry for Energy and Lozoya.
The following is written in the report published on CIRSD website regarding the Jeremić’s visit to Mexico:
“On Friday in Mexico City, CIRSD President Vuk Jeremić met with the leadership of Mexico’s energy ministry and its state oil and gas company PEMEX. They outlined Mexico’s strategic plan, proposed by President Enrique Peña Nieto, to allow outside companies to compete for oil and gas contracts in Mexico, as well as participate in operating pipelines, refining and electricity generation. The plan would also allow private companies to drill for oil and hold concessions for the first time since the oil industry was nationalized in 1938. A number of ambitious strategic infrastructure projects, including pipelines to connect Mexico's Pacific Coast with the Gulf of Mexico, are integral parts of the plan.
Jeremić expressed his strong support for Mexico’s strategic energy vision. “Reforming the energy sector can serve as a catalyzer for transformational change in Mexico,” Jeremić said. “The positive effects of the energy reform package could have long-term benefits not only for Mexico, but for the world’s increasingly complex energy architecture,” he added.
The level of controversy the energy sector reform caused in Mexico is supported by the circumstance that in his first statement after winning the Presidential elections in Mexico, defeating the candidate close to recent president Enrique Pena Nieto, the new President Andres Manuel Orador announced detailed review and audit of all energy contracts signed within the disputed reform. Orador mentioned there is significant insight that these contracts were the result of corruption of Nieto regime, regime that Lozoya was an integral part of.
Who Are Jeremić’s Business Partners?
Patrick Ho, former Minister of Interior of Hong Kong and the Secretary General of the China Energy Fund Committee and Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Senegal, were arrested on 18 November 2017 in New York, under the charge of committing a series of criminal offenses related to corruption, bribery and money laundering. Charges include the violation of American laws regarding corruption (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) and money laundering.
According to the indictment filed in the United States of America, Ho is charged for participating in at least two cases of bribery of African leaders in 2015 and 2016, for concluding profitable business arrangements in Chad and Uganda. One case refers to 2 million dollars Ho offered to the President of Chad Idris Debi in exchange for receiving privileged rights to exploit oil drills in this country. Mediator in this deal was Cheikh Gadio receiving a commission of USD 400,000, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors claim that the second case refers to USD 500,000 of bribe paid to the account controlled by the Ministry of Interior of Uganda Sam Kutesa, as well as gifts and promises the profit from the mutual operations in the area of energy in Uganda will be shared between companies controlled by the members of his family.
Indictment against Ho was expanded in the meantime with allegations of illegal weapons trade, and for violating UN Security Council sanctions. According to the final wording of the indictment, Patrick Ho was charged of selling weapons to South Sudan, Libya and Qatar. Five points of indictment charge him for bribery and three for money laundering worth 2.9 million dollars. In addition to Jeremić, as his closest associates, President of the Institute for Pan-African Strategies Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, President of Chad Idris Debi and Foreign Minister of Uganda Sam Kutesa were mentioned in this affair.
Cheikh Gadio, in the meantime, made a deal with the American prosecutors by which, for a pardon for his criminal offenses, he agreed to become a cooperative witness in the proceedings against Patrick Ho.
If convicted, Ho might face a prison sentence of up to 30 years. On a trial in the Federal District Court in Manhattan, presided by the Judge Katherine B. Forrestom, the Federal Prosecutor offered an extensive evidence material including several hundred thousand documents consisted of electronic messages (mails) and their attachments, with over 10 bank accounts, whose review was approved by court orders for prosecutors. Such e-mails include those exchanged between Ho and Vuk Jeremić, showing the real nature of their business relations.
Additionally, the Prosecutor offered the Court several thousand pages of bank and financial documentation related to a number of different entities along with seven boxes of papers and information received from 11 telephones, four computers, cameras and other equipment confiscated during the search of Ho’s office in Virginia.
Due to flight risk, Ho was denied offered bail to the staggering amount of 10 million dollars on several occasions, and the trial started on 26 November 2018. On this trial, on the very next day, 27 November, as the first witness of the trial, Vuk Jeremić appeared.
Four months after the arrest of Patrick Ho for embezzlement of 38 million dollars, on 16 February 2018 Chinese authorities started the investigation against Ho’s boss, President of the Executive Board of “China Energy Company Limited” and its foundation China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC), Chinese tycoon Ye Jianming, the main donor of Jeremić’s CIRSD. Due to the arrest of its founder, CEFC lost, in one day, 180 million dollars of its market value, on the stock exchange. Shares of three companies related to CEFC, on stock exchanges in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Singapore fell during the course of one hour by 630 million USD, where the total loss of company value on the stock exchange reached 33%, making the future of the company still uncertain.
Founded by Jianming in 2002, since 2015 CEFC spent at least 1.7 billion dollars acquiring energy companies in Romania, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Chad and some other African countries, not including 1.2 billion dollars for the purchase of financial services in USA and Czech Republic.
CEFC investigation showed that owing to Jianming’s party and military connections, the turnover of the company was increased multiple times through fictive trading within the network of related companies, enabling the spreading of the story on this growing energy and financial colossus in domestic and foreign public by the founder of CEFC. A series of interviews by the Chinese reporter Yi Tiyakuin during 2017 in which facts were presented that were subsequently proven to be notorious lies after documentation review, shows that he is a controversial personality and, obviously a fraud.
Case of Emilio Lozoya, close friend of Jeremić from Harvard and his business associate from the period when he was the President of the UNSG shows that the case of arrested main financiers of Jeremić and his close business associates is no coincidence, but the consequence of well-established corruptive business pattern practiced by this group of people.
Emilio Lozoya is a Mexican businessman and the son of the former Minister of Energy. He went to Harvard, where he met Jeremić, after which he was the head of the largest Mexican energy company PEMEX.
Lozoya, regularly promoted by Jeremić on his Twitter account, calling him his “brother”, became globally known after being publicly related by the Special Mexican Prosecutor with the mediation in giving 10 million dollars of bribe to the former Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto during the presidential campaign in 2012 in that country.
According to the allegations of the Special Mexican Prosecutor Santiago Nieto, former officials of the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht confessed that this company gave a little over 10 million dollars of bribe to the former head of the Mexican state oil company PEMEX, at the time when Lozoya was involved with the President Nieto’s presidential campaign. Three former executives of Odebrecht gave statements to Brazilian prosecutors that Lozoya, former Executive Director of PEMEX, was bribed between 2012 and 2014.
According to these statements in April and November 2012 Lozoya received approximately 4 million dollars. After the election of President Nieto Lozoya was in charge of coordinating relations with foreign companies and investors. Pena Nieto became President on 01 December 2012.
As per published testimony the rest of the money was paid in 2013 and 2014 when Lozoya became the Director of PEMEX where he played a prominent role in promoting Mexican energy reform that opened its oil industry to private companies and foreign investments. He was dismissed in February 2016 due to financial difficulties caused by a sudden drop in production.
In December 2016 Odebrecht confessed of paying nearly 800 million dollars of bribe in Latin America and Africa, in accordance with the plea bargain valued at 2.6 billion dollars with the American authorities. Within this agreement, the company confirmed that between December 2013 and the end of 2014, it paid the amount of 6 million dollars to an official in the named Mexican state company in order to secure state projects implementation in this country. PEMEX was the only Mexican state company that signed contracts with Odebrecht at that time.
During 2014 and 2015, at the time Lozoya managed PEMEX, Odebrecht concluded four contracting agreements with this company in the total amount of 1.5 billion dollars, including the upgrade of the refinery and the construction of a large gas line in northern Mexico.
The entire case was covered up after the Federal State Prosecutor of Mexico, at the request of President Nieto, removed Santiago Nieto from the office of the Special Prosecutor for Electoral Crime justified by illegal public disclosure of corruption investigation details in which Brazilian company Odebrecht and former Executive Director of PEMEX Lozoya were mentioned. The former Prosecutor publicly accused President Nieto of dismissal in order to stop the investigation on bribery and illegal financing of the electoral campaign by the ruling party in Mexico.
Secret Meetings at 78B Trump Tower
The fact that Jeremić was at the center of the international corruption network is confirmed by his statements during the New York Court testimony. On that occasion Jeremić confirmed that he was at the apartment 78B in one of Trump buildings (Trump World Tower Condos) where he met the accused Patrick Ho, suspected by the American authorities for international corruption. According to the findings of the American prosecution, it was the Trump Tower where Patrick Ho met his business partners and made dirty deals on selling weapons to African countries of Libya, South Sudan, Chad…
During Jeremić’s testimony it was determined that, escorted by UN Security, he visited Ho in the apartment 78B of Trump Tower, that is located just across the street from the UN building on the East River. Jeremić, during testimony, confirmed that while he served as the President of the UNGS, he stayed at 78B engaged by CEFC. Thereby, he confirmed he visited the apartment serving as the CEFC office, venue of criminal acts for which Ho is accused of.
In addition to connecting the CEFC company with the Mexican oil company “Pemex” and Tidian Gadio, Jeremić connected his Chinese employers with the Texas oilman Noel Thompson, and he also tried to mediate in the sales of potassium fertilizer mines, as well as in purchase and sales of Russian oil products.
During the testimony, the Judge insisted that Jeremić describes meeting Ho in the Trump Tower apartment in detail.
Judge: Did you ever visit this place, or you just heard of it?
Vuk Jeremić: I went to this place. I remember visiting it at least once.
J: Can you describe it.
VJ: It was a big apartment on a very high floor in the Trump Tower, with an excellent view of the entire Manhattan (showing Jeremić recordings of something labeled “Government Report 1515”)
J: Do you recognize it, Mr. Jeremić?
VJ: Yes, madam.
J: What is it?
VJ: It looks like an entrance into this specific building we talked about a few minutes ago.
J: Does it show the exact appearance of the entrance, at the time you were there?
VJ: As much as I remember, yes (being shown other photos of the building)
J: Mr. Jeremić, is this the office building or the apartment on this photo?
VJ: Yes, madam.
J: Can you show it?
VJ: It is the dark blue building on the right side of the photo.
J: And how far is this building from the UN seat, in your experience, approximately?
VJ: Approximately several minutes, a few minutes’ walk.
Ho’s Mails Prove Jeremić Was a Part of High-Level International Corruption
During Jeremić’s testimony the Prosecutor was especially interested in the meaning of e-mails Jeremić exchanged with Ho in September 2014, proving the opposite to what Jeremić spoke in public – that he knew Ho superficially and that he was not in deep business ties with him. Even though the fact that the Chinese tycoon was paying millions to him made it clear that Jeremić was not telling the truth, the evidence offered by the American Prosecution confirmed suspicion on the purpose of money paid to Jeremić.
During Jeremić’s testimony the Prosecutor asked questions related to two e-mails from Patrick Ho. He sent him an e-mail marked “urgent” asking from Jeremić to connect him with the President of Chad, any way he can. One of the indictments against Ho is related to the corruption of officials of this African country.
Jeremić confessed in Court that it was perfectly clear to him what his business partner wanted from him – contact with the President of Chad so that he could personally intervene in the dispute local authorities of this country had with the Chinese company CEFC wanted to take over.
Prosecutor: Mr. Jeremić, is this the first out of two e-mails in this period of five days which you just spoke of?
Vuk Jeremić: It seems that this is the first one.
P: Did the accused say that this mail refers to the Republic of Chad?
VJ: Doctor Ho asked if I knew the President of Chad personally.
P: Could you read the next line, please?
VJ: “Shanghai has significant interest there and it needs entrance”.
P: Again, how did you understand the subject of Shanghai in discussion with the accused?
VJ: I understood that Shanghai is a company, CEFC energy company, due to the fact their seat is in China.
P: How did the accused name this e-mail? What was the heading?
VJ: Urgent request.
P: Could you move on to the next e-mail. How did you respond, Mr. Jeremić?
VJ: I answered Dr. Ho that I did not know the President of Chad, that I never met the President of Chad.
P: Did you ask the accused about his interest?
VJ: I asked the accused to provide a little more detail on what are they interested in doing in this country.
P: Before I ask you how did the accused respond, let’s get back to the first mail. Mr. Jeremić, do you see the “head” written in the first line?
P: How did you understand this?
VJ: I have no idea.
P: Let’s go back to the next mail now. Mr. Jeremić, did the accused ever respond to your e-mail?
VJ: Yes, he did.
P: What did he say?
VJ: He said that the company is executing very large takeovers in this country for which approvals from the top of the government may be required. “Please see if you can find a channel for him.”
P: I am going to ask you some very direct questions related to this e-mail. First, what company did you understand he was talking about?
VJ: Reading his mail, I realized the company means CEFC energy company.
P: Do you see where it says: “very large takeovers”?
VJ: Main takeovers refer to big business opportunities, large scale businesses that include changes of ownership. Takeover includes change of ownership, title passes from one side to the other.
P: Finally, at the end of this sentence, do you see where it says: “Boss”?
P: How did you understand the accused, who does the “boss” refer to?
VJ: If you read the “main” and “see if you can find the channel with him” – which is the rest of the mail – I understood that Dr. Ho contacted me since he was the consultant at that time, paid consultant in the company, to see if I can find a link with the President of the Republic of Chad. Boss with capital B. This is how I see this mail.
P: Let’s look at the first mail, the one that started this thread. Mr. Jeremić, when was this mail sent, on what day?
VJ: On September 19th.
P: And when did the accused respond?
VJ: Same day, September 19th.
P: Did you try to find the connection with the President of the Republic of Chad, as the accused asked you?
VJ: I tried to ask some people I knew from Africa, my former colleagues, ministers of foreign affairs, I tried to reach the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chad, that I knew, but not very well, and the first round of my attempts was not very successful. Then I asked another person that is not from that country, not from Chad, but from Senegal.
P: What is the name of that person?
VJ: The name of the person is Tidiane Gadio.
P: What did you ask Mr. Gadio?
VJ: I asked Mr. Gadio since he was the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Senegal I knew, and he served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Senegal for a long time, so I thought he knew the presidents of African countries, since he served as the African Minister of Foreign Affairs for several years.
P: Go back to the screen, Mr. Jeremić, previous mail. Mr. Jeremić, just to direct you, I have asked you a couple of questions related to the bottom mail. Do you remember?
P: I would like to turn your attention upward. How did you respond to the numbered list of the accused related to Chad?
VJ: I said that I will probably succeed in setting up a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chad. Then I asked some more details on what he would like me to tell the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chad. As much as I understood, to the best of my knowledge, this meeting never happened.
P: Now we are going to pause for a second. Do you see where it says: “Look, we are not that close, we have a mutual friend.”
P: Who was the mutual friend?
VJ: I cannot remember, but probably one of the ministers of foreign affairs from Africa.
P: This is not a reference to Mr. Gadio?
VJ: Can’t remember. I cannot remember.
P: Let’s look at the next mail. We are looking at the response of the accused at this moment. Do you see where it says the “Chad connection”?
P: Can you read this passage?
VJ: “The Chad connection is important.”
P: Can you start with “Chad connection is important” and end with “see what can be of assistance”?
VJ: “Chinese national oil company has a large project it sells to the company CEFC China Energy. But China Oil has a problem with local authorities that demand the payment of a severe penalty. We were notified that only someone very powerful, President himself, can mediate an agreement. Shanghai is pretty desperate in finding the direct channel for themselves with the Big Man… see what can be of assistance.”
P: So, Mr. Jeremić, first, “CEFC China Energy Co.”, what is that?
VJ: I think this was a reference to the energy company.
P: And, secondly, where it says: “only someone very powerful, President himself, can mediate in this deal.” Who did you understand the accused was talking about?
VJ: I understood that he was talking about the President of the Republic of Chad.
P: Finally, it says “Shanghai is pretty desperate in finding the direct channel for themselves with the Big Man”. Again, how did you understand this?
VJ: Shanghai could be the energy company.
In responding to the subsequent questions of the prosecutor the leader of the People’s Party spoke of the e-mails he exchanged with Ho, referring to contracting profitable business deals that would bypass the “China Energy Company” (CEFC) Ho represented at that time. The plan was to equally divide the commission from oil trade.
This would be, as Ho wrote in his mail, a gentlemen’s agreement between the two of them, meaning of which Jeremić was not able to explain to the Prosecutor, as well as the term commission, as he stated during his testimony, he was not skilled in trade.
Jeremić, however, confessed that, in addition to acquaintances with potential political partners, he suggested his own ideas regarding business opportunities for his company to Ho. He also confirmed that his specialty was “providing advice on where the policy is favorable in a certain country or certain part of the world”, when it is clear that this refers to the possibility to secure political protection with corruption and bribery in contracting certain profitable business deals.
It is interesting that Jeremić justified himself in Court that he did not know what Patrick Ho meant under commission from the oil business, claiming that he thinks that “this deal was never realized”.
PROSECUTOR: Except for the accused that requested your help in dealing in certain countries, did you ever forward potential business opportunities to him?
VUK JEREMIĆ: Yes, I did.
P: What opportunities?
VJ: Anything that seemed interesting from any place in the world that could be, for which I thought they could be, interested in acquiring shares in companies or business.
P: You said “they” again. Who or what are “they” you mention, Mr. Jeremić?
VJ: It refers to CEFC company.
P: Mrs. Rao (Judge’s assistant) could you present the next evidence introduced to the set, 2736R, please. Mr. Jeremić, is it on the screen?
P: Mrs. Rao, could you start from the bottom mail, please. Mr. Jeremić, when did you send this mail?
VJ: It seems that it was sent on 26 September 2014.
P: What did you advise the accused in this mail? What did you say to him?
VJ I asked him to advise me how to address issues referring to the solution for supplying the CEFC subsidiary, that is, affiliated company of CEFC, related to required Russian products, oil products, oil derivative products.
P: Let’s stop for a second. For all of those not familiar with this, what is the subsidiary in this context?
VJ: Subsidiary is the affiliated company.
P: Affiliated to what?
VJ: I do not remember this conversation very well since it never materialized, but I believe it refers to the company… affiliated company of CEFC that wanted to buy oil.
P: You said oil. Does that refer to the Russian products?
VJ: To oil or oil derivative products.
P: Mrs. Rao, could you please move to the next mail in the conversation and to the middle of it? What did the accused respond to your question, Mr. Jeremić?
VJ: This response refers to technical details on the type of products and product specifications in the sense of price, volume, specifications, quality and origin of goods?
P: Do you see the reference to commission in the last sentence before “thank you”?
VJ: I see it, sir.
P: How did you understand it, what does that refer to?
VJ: I understand that this refers to the fact that this is a trade deal between two sides, these commissions, meaning profit, should be accomplished by these two sides, the selling and purchasing one.
P: Move to the next mail in the conversation, Mrs. Rao. How did you respond, Mr. Jeremić?
VJ: I responded that he should provide me with guidelines regarding commission, regarding profit, since I had very little experience in trade. My specialty was providing advice on where the policy is favorable in a certain country or certain part of the world, but I am not that familiar or experienced with business transactions or trade, so I asked him to help me understand it better.
P: Did he respond?
VJ: I do not remember whether he responded, just as I don’t remember… I think we never went along with this deal.
P: Let’s look at the next mail. Mrs. Rao, can you move to the top of the conversation? Is this the response?
VJ: I think it is.
P: Please read the first sentence.
VJ: “Since the contract does not include CEFC company directly, we act as free agents between the supplier and the buyer.”
P: How did you understand what he wanted to say?
VJ: He was explaining that this was a special transaction… This special trade with certain products… would not include CEFC company, so he proposed that the profit from this special transaction would not be received by the company, but by two parties that were involved in this type of trade.
P: And these two parties would be who?
VJ: The two of us.
P: Do you see the part that starts with “Commission shall be”?
VJ: Yes, sir.
P: Please read this sentence and the following sentence.
VJ: It says: “Commission shall be 50/50 between J and H, gentlemen’s agreement. J shall take care of all interests of the J party, and H shall do the same.”
P: First of all, who is J?
VJ: I presume J refers to me, since it is the first letter of my last name, Jeremić… My last name Jeremić starts with J, and I presume that H refers to Dr. Ho.
P: How did you understand the gentlemen’s agreement?
VJ: I really do not know what this means in this context. I think that he was saying that we will share the profit 50/50, but I must repeat that I was never involved with this type of business, I never did this sort of work before, so I cannot provide a sound explanation. This was never executed, or anything of that sort. I mean the business I had with the accused.
P: Do you see where it says: “J shall take care of all interests of the J party”?
P: What interest, if it exists, did you understand he mentions?
VJ: I understood very little of what he meant, and this is probably one of the reasons this never happened.
P: Was this the only potential possibility in which you and the accused discussed receiving commission or dividing profit on a personal level?
VJ: To the best of my knowledge, there were a couple of other opportunities, occasions, chances for trade, when the subject A required some type of oil products from subject B, to help reach a trade agreement. But, just as in this case, we are observing right now, none of these proposals were realized since I was simply not familiar with this type of deals.
As seen from the testimony, the consulting services Jeremić rendered to his foreign clients, details of which he is keeping away from the public, perfectly match the corruptive pattern of behavior of his closest associates and financiers. Since the contacts acquired in the period Jeremić served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia are the only thing he could offer as the “consulting services” to his clients, it is clear that they actually were the application of corruptive techniques and methods for obtaining profitable business deals in the energy sector. As seen from the Ho case, such methods include bribing leading politicians in third world countries in order to reach desired goals regardless of current laws.