Ex-Minister Žalac, Central Finance and Contracting Agency Director Arrested

By 10 November 2021

ZAGREB, 10 November, 2021 - Former regional development and EU funds minister Gabrijela Žalac, Central Finance and Contracting Agency (SAFU) director Tomislav Petric and two other persons were arrested on Wednesday as part of an operation by the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) in Croatia.

They were arrested in a case dubbed Software. EPPO Croatia said it was urgently collecting evidence regarding four persons in cooperation with the police anti-corruption office PNUSKOK.

The four are suspected of crimes committed in the ministry and SAFU related to the public procurement of an information system.

After they are questioned, EPPO Croatia said, it will decide on further action and until then no further details will be provided.

The Police Directorate said the criminal investigation also included several businesses in Zagreb, Split-Dalmatia County and Vukovar-Srijem County.

After the investigation, the police will press charges against the suspects with EPPO Croatia, the Police Directorate added.

The case concerns the design of a HRK 16.2 million software which the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds, when Žalac was minister, awarded to the Ampelos company.

Three weeks ago, acting on EPPO's orders, police conducted several searches in the ministry and seized documents relating to the Ampelos job.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)