PM: I will Not Accept Being Labelled as Ivo Sanader or Criminal Organisation

By 14 October 2021

ZAGREB, 14 October, 2021 - Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Andrej Plenković, commenting on the ruling in the Fimi Media case, rejected the responsibility of the party's present leadership "for the actions of some other people between 2004 and 2009."

"When it comes to what went on then, as far as the incumbent leadership and policies we are leading are concerned, and I in particular, as the president of the party since 2016, have nothing to do with that nor will we take any responsibility for the actions of individuals," Plenković said commenting on the Supreme Court ruling in the retrial of the Fimi Media case.

He added that he would not accept being labelled as Ivo Sanader or any criminal organisation.

"I have been a member since 2011 and more than half of this time I have been the leader of the party and have been leading it transparently. We are meeting all our obligations and we do not have any loans or anything that would bring our financial situation into question," he said.

He rejected accusations from the opposition that the judiciary is the HDZ's and underscored that today's Supreme Court ruling "is proof that no HDZ judiciary exists."

"Numerous populist, false claims we have heard recently about the HDZ's influence on the judiciary were more than explicitly disputed today in this way and have been shown to be empty phrases and the lowest level of political opposition to the HDZ," he added.

As far as the political price of this case is concerned, Plenković said that the HDZ paid the price at the parliamentary election in 2011 when voters sent the government into the opposition after eight years in office. "That political price has been paid," he said.

Opposition trying to win a few points, but that won't last long

Asked to comment on the opposition's reaction that the verdict confirmed the HDZ as a criminal organisation, Plenković retorted that HDZ convincingly beat the incumbent opposition twice at parliamentary elections and that the opposition is falling apart of its own accord and has not been constructive on even one vital topic.

"Naturally, they will try and win some points and exploit this situation against HDZ ... but that won't last long," he said.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday partly upheld the verdict following the retrial in the Fimi Media corruption case, under which the HDZ party was fined HRK 3.5 million while the former PM and HDZ chief Ivo Sanader had his prison sentence reduced from eight to seven years.