Hotel Plaza Belongs to Sarajevo: Supreme Court of Montenegro Judged Against the State

By , 10 May 2018, 13:33 PM Business
Hotel "Plaza" Hotel "Plaza" Archive "Vijesti"

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The hotel “Plaza” in Zelenika, on the basis of the verdict by the Supreme Court of Montenegro, belongs to the Municipality of Centar-Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This was the end of a twelve-year court procedure that the Municipality of Centar conducted against the state of Montenegro, which is the owner of the hotel and the land on which it is built. 

The Municipality of Centar Sarajevo formed a team for the hotel handover and intends to publish an international public tender for its sale. As the hotel is in the process of restitution, the descendants of the first owners claim that there is a temporary measure which forbids traffic until the restoration is completed. The owner and founder, Dr. Anton Madjar from Budapest, opened the hotel "Zelenika Plaza" in 1902, and his work is linked to the start of organized tourism in Montenegro.

The hotel had 30 rooms with sixty beds, its representations in Prague, Budapest, Vienna, and Belgrade, and guests mostly came from the high European society. In the hotel's books, it was noted that the guests of "Zelenika Plaza" were also Montenegrin King Nikola I Petrovic, Serbian king Peter and Karadjordjevic, and kings of Bulgaria Boris Koburg and Albania Ahmed Zogu. During the First World War, the hotel hosted the military. They experienced the same fate in the Second World War, and also in the time of the wars of former Yugoslavia.

After the end of the First World War, the hotel was devastated, but it was restored with the help of the businessman Lale Zuber. Between the two world wars, it was an example of a successful and contemporary hotel business. During the Second World War, the hotel housed the Italian criminal expedition Taro. The hotel was opened again after the war but was nationalized in 1948 when it became state property.

By 1961, tourists arrived. During this year, the Municipality of Herceg Novi sold the hotel; the descendant of the owner Caba Madjar claims it was given to the Municipality of Centar Sarajevo and since then the facility served as a Children's Resort. During the war in the former Yugoslavia in the 90s, the hotel became the headquarters of the Navy. Today, it remains a devasted building.

plaza1.jpgPHOTO: archive

In 2002 the inheritors of the hotel owner - Caba Madjar and his brothers and sisters, initiated a procedure for the repossession of their property in front of a Restitution Commission, and in 2006, the Municipality of Centar Sarajevo initiated a process against the Montenegrin Government as its owner for the return of the hotel. Caba Madjar recently said that the Primary Court in Herceg Novi ruled three times on his behalf, and that the High Court confirmed these decisions, but that in the end, the Supreme Court would eventually convert those judgments to the benefit of the Municipality of Center Sarajevo.

The attorney of the Madjar family, Dragan Lepetic, says the Supreme Court ruled against his state. "Against that verdict, I have filed a constitutional complaint to the Constitutional Court of Montenegro, which is the only one competent for annulment of the verdict by the Supreme Court, and by which we used all legal remedies," Lepetic said, pointing out that the appeal does not delay the execution of the verdict by the Supreme Court. Caba Madjar and his family were interveners on the side of Montenegro. Their legal interest is that they are the former owners of the hotel and on this basis, they lead a restitution process with the Restitution Commission in Bar," explained Lepetic.

"The Commission in Bar held the last hearing in November last year, but the decision has not been made yet, although the legal deadline was one month. We also wrote that it is a matter of urgency, but it has been over five months, and there is no decision," said Lepetic. Caba Madjar is the grandson of the founder and first owner of the Hotel Zelenika Beach and the honorable Consul of the Republic of Hungary in Montenegro. He announced earlier that he would seek justice in Strasbourg.

Text by Slavica Kosic, on May 9th, 2018, read more at Vijesti

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