Source: Danas | Thursday, 01.02.2018.| 12:49
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Commercial Court disputes sale of Hotel Slavija Lux in Belgrade

(Photo: Dragon Images/shutterstock.com)
Hotel Slavija Lux shouldn't have been sold before a final decision was reached as to whether it truly owed EUR 2 million to the company Fil-Sar, the Commercial Court of Belgrade decided. The decision of the public executor Marko Vukicevic, based on which the auction was held and the hotel in the center of Belgrade sold to Mat Real Estate, owned by Petar Matijevic, was thereby canceled, Danas reports.

He accepted the clause saying that he won't be able to take over the facility until the Commercial Court decides whether the auction was organized in line with the law.

According to Danas' findings, Matijevic honored the deadline period of 15 days and paid the amount of EUR 6.5 million. The twist arrived with the court's decision.

The management of the hotel disputes any remaining debts from the joint organization of the gambling house with Fil-Sar. The then owner of the company, registered in Australia, was Branislav Saranovic, and, following his murder, the debt collection request was submitted by his widow Katarina, who inherited Fil-Sar as a company without property, turnover or employees.

Although there was no documentation supporting it, the management of Slavija explains that the Arbitration Council, consisting of lawyers, believed her claim that Saranovic had invested in the business, but still reduced total claims from around 7 to 2 million euros, without economic expertise. It was not possible to file a complaint to the decision made by the Arbitration Council, as it was enforceable and could be disputed only through a lawsuit, which Hoteli Slavija did initiate and asked the executor to postpone the sale until a final verdict is reached for this reason.

The Commercial Court accepted the argument, as, in the case of the success of the lawsuit, there would be basis for counter-enforcement. However, in that case, Slavija would not be able to have the money returned, as the creditor is a foreign legal person with the seat in Austria and without property in Serbia.

– The enforcement debtor made it probable in this case that it would suffer irretrievable damage due to an enforcement, exceeding the damage the enforcement creditor would suffer due to a delay – says the decision of the Commercial Court. It is added that Serbia and Austria do not have a bilateral agreement on recognition and execution of court decisions in obligation disputes, which would make the money redemption even more difficult if it were determined that the debt didn't exist. Also, the court points out that the value of the hotel is several times bigger than the debt claimed by Fil-Sar and that the claims are secured, as the decision on execution has been annotated in the register.

The court determined that “the public enforcement officer made a wrong assessment of there not being cause for adoption of a proposal for the delay of the procedure of execution until a valid termination of the said procedure through which the cancellation of the arbitration decision is sought” and ordered this to be corrected.

Hearing on February 6

As the hotel's management told eKapija, this is the first of the two procedures related to the case. The hearing at the second procedure, pertaining to the lawsuit for the cancellation of the decision of the Arbitration Council on the claims of Fil-Sar towards Hotel Slavija Belgrade, will be held on February 6.
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