Arrest Warrant Issued for Zdravko Mamić

By 6 June 2018

ZAGREB, June 6, 2018 - The Osijek County Court on Wednesday issued a warrant for the arrest of Zdravko Mamić after he was found guilty of tax evasion and was given six and a half years in prison. The court is expected to issue an international warrant for his arrest as existing information confirms that he is outside Croatia.

Earlier in the day, Mamić, a former chief executive of soccer team Dinamo Zagreb, held a news conference in the town of Medjugorje, and said that the verdict was "monstrous" and said that he would remain in Bosnia and Herzegovina and announced a "fierce struggle" against all who he said set him up.

Former Dinamo football club boss and incumbent advisor to the club Zdravko Mamić, his brother Zoran, former Dinamo director Damir Vrbanović and tax official Milan Pernar have been found guilty of the charges made by the USKOK anti-corruption office, with Zdravko Mamić being sentenced to six and a half years in jail.

Mamić et all were found guilty on all counts in the case of siphoning about 116 million kuna from the Dinamo club and defrauding the state budget of about 12.2 million kuna in unpaid taxes and surtaxes.

Zdravko Mamić was sentenced to six and a half years. His brother Zoran was sentenced to four years and 11 months, while Pernar was sentenced to four years and two months, and Vrbanović was sentenced to three years. None of the four accused turned up to hear the sentencing before Osijek County Court.

The Mamić brothers and tax officer Pernar will be required to pay 80 million kuna to the state budget if the Osijek County Court ruling becomes final. The court established that Zdravko Mamić unlawfully gained 52.03 million kuna through tax evasion, and the damage could be compensated for the state through cash payment and confiscation of the property of the convict Zdravko Mamić, his wife and their daughter. Some of the assets that could be confiscated in this case are real estate, forests, as well as two cars "Bentley" and "Audi". Zoran Mamić will be required to pay back 25.8 million kuna he had unlawfully gained. Pernar is found to have unlawfully come into possession of two million kuna.

Since Mamić is also a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is not expected that the country will extradite him to Croatia. However, if he refuses to return to Croatia, Mamić would probably have to serve his sentence in a Bosnian prison, provided that the first-instance verdict is confirmed after an appeal process.

A former education and sport minister, MP Željko Jovanović of the Social Democratic Party, on Wednesday welcomed the verdict against Zdravko and Zoran Mamić and Damir Vrbanović, saying that the court verdict proved that the Mamić brothers had treated Dinamo football club as their ATM machine to finance their private needs, as well as the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) elections campaign and president's birthdays. Jovanović recalled that he presented his theses about Mamić and Dinamo in an interview with the Jutarnji List daily in 2015 when he said the Mamić brothers were using Dinamo as their own cash machine.

Nikola Grmoja of the MOST party said that the fact that Mamić was not in Croatia on the day of the sentencing hearing did not send out a good message.

The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) declined to comment on the verdict, saying that it would give its opinion after the verdict becomes final.