USKOK Shares Details of Indictments Against Four Former Ministers

By 27 October 2022
USKOK Shares Details of Indictments Against Four Former Ministers
Marko Lukunic/PIXSELL

October 27, 2022 - After the arrests of several former ministers made a big, but short splash on the Croatian political scene, now USKOK has published the details of the indictments against them.

The four former ministers from the Plenković government in the focus of the investigation are Darko Horvat, Boris Milošević, Tomislav Tolušić and Josip Aladrović. There are also four other suspects in two branches of the investigation, launched due to alleged illegalities with the awarding of funding.

Without specifying the identities of the defendants, USKOK reported that, in addition to the four ministers, it had filed indictments against Horvat's assistant Ana Mandac, former State Secretary of the Ministry of Regional Development Velimir Žunac, Director of the Administration for Assisted Areas Katica Mišković and Županja Mayor Damir Juzbašić.

The prosecutor's office announced that eight defendants are charged with misuse of position and authority, inciting and assisting in the misuse of position and authority, trading in influence, and assisting in trading in influence. Uskok specifies that Horvat is accused of putting his assistant Ana Mandac in charge of implementing the Program "Development of small and medium-sized enterprises and crafts in areas inhabited by members of national minorities". 2.65 million kuna in grants was awarded to "business entities" in which he was personally interested or at the instigation of Tolušić, Žunac, Mišković and Milošević. At the same time, USKOK adds, Mandac, according to Horvat's orders and the requests of Tolušić, Žunac, Mišković and Milošević and third unidentified persons, made a spreadsheet with the amounts of grants and economic entities to which these funds are allocated and then instructed the expert services to ensure the signing of the payment contract incentive.

USKOK's indictment also states that Horvat has used the authority of a minister and previously a member of parliament, through Ana Mandac, from January 2018 to April 2019, and asked the then-director of the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute (HZMO) Josip Aladrović to favor the employment of a certain candidate in HZMO. Aladrović, USKOK points out, then sent through Mandac the questionnaires which were to be used in the selection process to the candidate, which gave her an advantage over the other candidates. After several additional corrupt steps, HZMO ended up signing an employment contract with her for an indefinite period. According to the media, the candidate/employee in question is Lidija Sinković, whose father is Horvat's friend. Ana Mandac is also accused of asking Aladrović, at Juzbašić's request, to favor another candidate in order to hire her at HZMO, which Aladrović did the same way as previously described. After the candidate achieved the maximum number of points, she was also employed on an indefinite contract. The media previously reported that this part of the indictments refers to Petra Periša.