Wednesday, 25 May 2022

European Public Prosecutor's Office Indicts Ten Croatians for Bribery

ZAGREB, 25 May 2022 - The European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) has indicted ten Croatians, including the Mayor of Nova Gradiška, Vinko Grgić, former Velika Gorica mayor Dražen Barišić and entrepreneur Krešo Petek.

The EPPO reported that the indictment was filed after an investigation of active and passive corruption and abuse of office between 2018 and 2021.

All four cases are related to construction projects with a total value of €22.6 million and the damage to the EU budget was largely prevented thanks to the efficacy of the investigators, the EPPO said in a statement.

Corruption in Nova Gradiška

Mayor Grgić is being charged with accepting two bribes amounting to €15,000 from the first accused Krešo Petek in order to secure the assignment of two construction projects.

The two projects were for a recycling centre and a solar power plant. The first project was valued at €900,000, of which the amount of €562,000 was financed by the European Union Cohesion Fund, and the value of the second project was €700,000, of which 85% was funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Three other suspects were involved in these two corruption cases by helping Grgić and Petek in giving the bribes, abusing their office, and illegal favouritism in public procurement.

The recycling project was then awarded to companies connected to Petek who paid Grgić the agreed amount of the bribe.

This meant that the European Cohesion Fund was defrauded of €53,000 and the Town of Nova Gradiška of €32,500. 

The solar power plant project was not awarded as Petek and the others accused had already been arrested.

Abuse of office in Velika Gorica

Petek is also accused of arranging with former Velika Gorica mayor Barišić for the construction of a wastewater treatment plant and a supervisory management system as well as for the renovation of the public lighting system to be awarded to his companies.

The estimated value for the wastewater treatment plant project was €14 million, of which the European Union Cohesion Fund financed 67.34%. The value of the renovation project of the public lighting system was €7 million and it was co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

In these two cases, too, there were three accomplices who helped Barišić in abusing office and influence-peddling in public procurement procedures.

In both projects, although all necessary steps were taken in the public procurement process to select the companies connected to Petek, decisions to that effect were not made due to the arrest of all five accused persons, the EPPO reported.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Sunday, 20 February 2022

Horvat Scandal Too Much Even for Croatia, Time for Plenkovic to Step Down?

February the 20th, 2022 - The Darko Horvat scandal which has dominated the press over the last few days has been too much even by Croatian standards according to some. One Index journalist, Goran Vojkovic, believes it's time for PM Andrej Plenkovic to step down.

As Index/Goran Vojkovic writes, the State Attorney's Office Act states that ''any form of influence is prohibited, especially any form of coercion against state attorneys and deputy state attorneys, the abuse of public authority and personal influence, and the use of media and public appearances in criminal cases prosecuted ex officio and in cases where the state attorney or deputy the State Attorney performs his powers and duties in the protection of the property of the Republic of Croatia.''

It was a very difficult, rainy Saturday for the Prime Minister, it was a bit like the sky was crying for the HDZ (again). Things should have been completely different during that day. Over in Brussels, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic managed to get an extension of the deadline in which Croatia has to spend European Union money for reconstruction, because Croatia didn't manage to spend any of that money on time. The newly arrested Minister of Physical Planning, Construction and State Property, Darko Horvat, is in charge of this reconstruction process. It seems now that the Horvat scandal is only just beginning.

In addition to the above, Croatia was visited by an American carrier, which is, in fact, a matter of global relations and is nothing new for the country, the two nations from each side of the Atlantic Ocean have been allies in this regard since back in 1952, when Tito, dressed up in his white uniform, walked along the bridge of the American carrier Coral Sea. But in a country full of scandals, while energy prices are rampant, any extra time will come in handy for the post-earthquake reconstruction that we didn't bother to do and of course, for a walk on this American carrier.

The Prime Minister's easy Saturday morning coffee was interrupted by the Horvat scandal, and that's never a good way in which to start the day.

The prime minister was probably planning a quiet family morning donning a comfortable dressing gown, sipping a coffee, surfing the internet on his tablet which would have been packed with praise and good news and enjoying the view of the calming Zagreb rain through the window of his warm apartment. And then came some very awkward news - a search of the house of the Minister of Physical Planning, Construction and State Property. The Horvat scandal had broken.

This would never be good news, but it was a very awkward story indeed for Saturday, especially because Andrej Plenkovic himself had said a few days ago: "I will not be removing anyone until the end of my term." The kiss of death? Maybe. Moreover, as the slow recovery process after the earthquakes of 2020 was the reason for the opposition in parliament to demand the removal of Minister Horvat, just two weeks ago Plenkovic signed a sixteen-page document defending the newly arrested minister.

Plenkovic responded to Saturday's events and the Darko Horvat scandal with a direct verbal attack on the State Attorney's Office, asking for explanations, and his entire appearance in front of the camera can be described as: "Do you even know who I am?!"

According to the State Attorney's Office Act, the State Attorney's Office doesn't have to justify what it does to the PM. It is an autonomous and independent judicial body, not a government body, and it isn't under an executive branch. Just asking them for additional talks and some special explanations to the Prime Minister can be interpreted as an attempt to influence them, which is strictly forbidden. Andrej Plenkovic, very well versed in law himself, knows that all too well.

But why is Plenkovic so nervous about the unfolding Horvat scandal? Because he is personally responsible for the selection of Minister Horvat, as well as every member of the government. Let us remember - the person who collects 76 signatures in the parliament receives the mandate to form the government from the President of the Republic and becomes the Prime Minister when the Parliament confirms the election of the Prime Minister. Ministers don't come to their positions by way of interviews and tenders, they're people trusted by the future prime minister himself, who he himself proposes for the position.

If any of these people nominated by Plenkovic personally for the highest office in the country have been arrested on suspicion of very serious corruption, then this is not only the problem of that minister, but also the problem of Plenkovic on a very personal level. Why would we trust him any more if he can't put his team in order? Nobody imposed these people on him, he guaranteed both the deputies and the people of Croatia that they were the best choices for their respective positions.

Does Plenkovic still guarantee the knowledge, ability and honesty of his ministers?

Plenkovic repeatedly vouched for all these people, for their ability, honour and honesty. Therefore, we completely agree that he shouldn't remove anyone by the end of his term, but should resign, himself, as Prime Minister of Croatia.

The Prime Minister can't keep repeating until the end of the century that he didn't know about the problematic behaviours of the people he himself elected or at a lower level signed for their appointment. He, by proposing these people to these positions, vouched for them personally. As far as the legal responsibility of Minister Horvat is concerned, it is, of course, a matter for the courts, but political responsibility for this affair, this crisis and this shame (because of the brazen inaction of Minister Horvat, Plenkovic was forced to ask the EU for a new deadline for the spending of the funds from the Solidarity Fund) is on Andrej Plenkovic.

The news that Plenkovic fired Minister Horvat at his request doesn't change anything. It is only a small legal maneuver. Horvat knows that he cannot remain in office, and in this way he makes things easier for the party chief.

If anyone knows how to embarrass this country - HDZ definitely knows

But, realistically, it's highly unlikely that Plenkovic will decide to resign on the back of the Horvat scandal. He has enough dogs in his fight, and most of the opposition is not going to want new elections, they wouldn't be re-elected to the parliament. In addition, his resignation would mean the end of Plenkovic's political career instead of its continuation somewhere else a bit more flashy, let's say in the European Commission. Even now, it will be difficult for Plenkovic to explain that billions intended for the reconstruction should have been managed by the minister who has now been arrested. If anyone knows how to embarrass this country, then HDZ definitely knows.

For more, check out our politics section.

Sunday, 30 January 2022

Pleso Airport Police Head and Two Others Being Investigated by USKOK

January the 30th, 2022 - Zagreb's Pleso Airport police head is being investigated by USKOK (Croatian State Prosecutor's Office for the Suppression of Organised Crime and Corruption or Bureau for Combating Corruption and Organised Crime).

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, based on the criminal report released by the Zagreb Police, USKOK issued its decision to open an investigation against three Croatian citizens (born in 1982, 1965 and 1969) about whom there is reasonable suspicion of the commitment of the criminal offenses of the abuse of office, the incitement to commit abuse of office and trading in influence (influence peddling), according to a report from Dnevnik.hr.

There is a well-founded suspicion that the first defendant, in the period from April the 1st, 2021 to January the 27th, 2022 in Zagreb and Velika Gorica, as the head of the Pleso Airport Police Station, allegedly agreed for the second defendant to be allowed to pass through Zagreb International Airport's customs with goods without being checked.

Either personally or on his orders, through his subordinate police officers, without conducting any border and/or customs control, he allegedly made it possible for the individual in question to avoid the customs control of his luggage in which he carried clothes and footwear with non-original markings of various brands acquired while in Turkey, with the apparent intention to resell them on the black market here in Croatia. In this way, he also enabled him to avoid the collection of due customs duties/the confiscation of the goods.

The mayor parked free of charge

During the months of August and October 2021, the third accused person, the mayor of Ivanic Grad, allegedly abused his position in Velika Gorica and Ivanic Grad. He allegedly asked the head of the Pleso Airport Police Station to allow him to park the personal vehicle he was using without paying any fees, as well as to keep that vehicle at Pleso Airport Police Station's car park during his trip.

The mayor was aware that this car park was intended only for the official needs of the Pleso Airport Police Station. He succeeded in leaving his car there because his engagement was allegedly secured by subordinate police officers from the Chief of the Pleso Airport Police Station.

USKOK has proposed to the investigating judge of the Zagreb County Court to order the pre-trial detention of one of the defendants.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Friday, 28 January 2022

Milanović Accuses Plenković Government as Most Corrupt Yet

ZAGREB, 28 Jan 2022 - President Zoran Milanović on Friday accused the government of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković as the most corrupt Croatian government yet.

"Plenković is protecting the people who are simply corrupt. I cannot call it any other way," Milanović said in an interview with RTL television.

Milanović said that Plenković's chief of staff Zvonimir Frka Petešić had deliberately registered his residence on Dugi Otok island so that he could qualify for a state-owned apartment in Zagreb. 

Frka Petešić "is fully aware that what he has done is punishable under the law, yet he enjoys the prime minister's protection," he added.

Milanović rejected the idea of his being an opposition leader in Croatia. "Not only am I not, but I feel bad in this position. All this that I am saying, which I have to say and will keep on saying, is just an unnecessary burden to me. This should not be my job."

For more, check out our politics section.

Sunday, 2 January 2022

EU Funds Misuse in Croatia: 35 Alleged Cases Already Under Investigation

January 2, 2022 - The European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) in Zagreb's Ilica currently has 35 cases indicating possible EU funds misuse.

The State Attorney's Office submitted 25 cases of EU funds misuse after 10 November, the date after which they were obliged to submit cases within the possible competence of the European Prosecutor's Office, reports Jutarnji List. Until that date, the State Attorney's Office had submitted 10 such cases, including the one on the so-called affair software that resulted in the arrest of former Minister Gabrijela Žalac. The former minister decided that the MRRFEU would make this purchase at a price much higher than the market price for the development of software with such technical specifications and functionalities.

It is alleged that, in order to carry out what was agreed, the former minister first decided, in 2017, to conduct a negotiated procurement procedure without prior publication of a public invitation to tender, with an overestimated procurement value of HRK 9,860,000.00 (EUR +/- 1.31 million); and in that process, the companies linked to the second suspect were invited to submit their bids.

A total of 35 cases are on the table of Tamara Laptoš, who heads the European Prosecutor's Office, which also includes Tomislav Kalember and Sani Ljubičić, but that does not mean that as many investigations are being conducted. Namely, these are cases submitted by the State Attorney's Office in which suspicions of misuse of European money are expressed.

The European Public Prosecutor's Office investigates and prosecutes the following types of fraud and other criminal offenses affecting the EU's financial interests: expenditure and revenue fraud, VAT fraud (if involving two or more Member States and worth at least 10 million), money laundering of the EU budget, active and passive corruption or embezzlement affecting the EU's financial interests and participation in a criminal organization if its activities are aimed at committing crimes against the EU budget.

For more, check out our politics section.

Sunday, 14 November 2021

Supreme Court Acquits Former HDZ PM Ivo Sanader in HEP-Dioki Affair

November the 14th, 2021 - Former HDZ PM Ivo Sanader is known for having been accused of being involved in multiple scandals and affairs, and his long lasting legal procedures are just as well known to the Croatian public. The Supreme Court, however, has just acquitted him in one affair.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Supreme Court has partially reversed and partially upheld the acquittal of the Zagreb County Court in the case of former HDZ PM Ivo Sanader in the well known HEP-Dioki case along with Ivan Mravko and Robert Jezic. Part of it has become statute-barred (no longer legally enforceable as a prescribed period of limitation has lapsed), and the acquittal of Sanader has been confirmed for the second part of the indictment, the media has reported.

"On the appeal of the State Attorney, ex officio, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia has reversed the acquittal of the Zagreb County Court and dismissed the charge of one criminal offense of inciting abuse of office against two defendants, and upheld the first-instance acquittal for the second offense of incitement to the abuse of office and authority against the same two defendants. The first-instance verdict acquitted the two defendants of the charges of committing the two criminal offenses of inciting abuse of office and authority,'' the Supreme Court said in a statement recently.

Since back in 2012, the prosecution has charged former HDZ PM Ivo Sanader with inciting former HEP CEO Ivan Mravko to pay out a fifteen million kuna loan to Robert Jezic's company (Dioki) and sell electricity below market prices, damaging the state budget by nineteen million kuna.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated politics section.

Thursday, 11 November 2021

EPPO Accuses Ex-Minister, Agency’s Head, 2 Entrepreneurs of Embezzling €1.8M

ZAGREB, 11 Nov, 2021 - The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) has launched a probe and proposed pre-trial detention against four suspects in Croatia: a former minister Gabriela Žalac, the SAFU Agency's director and two businessmen on suspicion that they embezzled €1.8 million from the EU and Croatian budgets.

The EPPO issued a statement on the matter on Thursday without revealing the identity of the four suspects.

The statement reads that the EPPO "has initiated an investigation against four Croatian citizens, as well as two companies, for the criminal offences of trading in influence and the abuse of office and official authority."

Among the suspects are the former minister of the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds (MRRFEU) and the Director of Croatia’s Central Finance and Contracting Agency (SAFU), Tomislav Petric and the businessmen Marko Jukić and Mladen Šimunac.

All four suspects were arrested on Wednesday at the request of the EPPO.

Based on the results of the preliminary investigative activities, carried out in cooperation with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), the Croatian National Police Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organised Crime and the Independent Financial Investigation Sector of the Tax Administration of the Croatian Ministry of Finance, the EPPO has now officially initiated an investigation.

The Croatian police specify that the former minister is suspected of abuse of office and influence peddling, SAFU director Petric of abuse of office while the businessmen Šimunac and Jukić are suspected of having encouraged the office-holders to commit wrongdoings.

EPPO says in its press release that "it is alleged that the first suspect, in her joint capacity as Minister of the MRRFEU and President of the Governing Board of the SAFU, took actions aimed at ensuring a privileged position for the second and the third suspects, as well as the companies linked to them."

"These activities occurred in 2017 and 2018, in the process of the public procurement of an information system for strategic planning and development management. During this time, the former minister was responsible for both the lawful conduct of public procurement procedures at the MRRFEU, and for proposing the appointment and relieving of duties of the Director of the SAFU. "

Adjusting ministry's procurement plan to benefit suspects

"The privileged position of the second and the third suspects was ensured by: adjusting the MRRFEU Procurement Plans for 2017 and 2018 to benefit the second and third suspects and the companies linked to them; inflating the estimated value of the procurement of that information system; changing the type and manner of procurement; and adjusting the technical specifications of the software required for the MRRFEU’s purposes to the software that the suspects and their companies had at their disposal.

The former minister decided that the MRRFEU would make this purchase at a price much higher than the market price for the development of software with such technical specifications and functionalities.

It is alleged that, in order to carry out what was agreed, the former minister first decided, in 2017, to conduct a negotiated procurement procedure without prior publication of a public invitation to tender, with an overestimated procurement value of HRK 9,860,000.00 (EUR +/- 1.31 million); and in that process, the companies linked to the second suspect were invited to submit their bids.

"In order to ensure the continuation of the negotiated procurement procedure without prior publication of a public invitation to tender, and by using her joint authority as Minister of the MRRFEU and President of the Governing Board of the SAFU, the former minister requested that the fourth suspect, the Director of the SAFU (the agency responsible for the ex-ante control of EU-funded MRRFEU public procurement procedures) made sure that the SAFU, in the ex-ante control of the documentation of the procurement of software licences unduly estimated at HRK 9,860,000.00, did not dispute the negotiated procurement procedure."

As this request came from the President of the SAFU and the minister who was in a position to propose, to the Croatian government, the appointment and relieving of his duties, the director agreed, and instructed the SAFU administrative and professional services to be as lenient as possible in their comments referring to the procurement documentation.

"When, in October 2017, the Croatian State Commission for the Supervision of Public Procurement Procedures annulled the public procurement procedure due to the breach of the law on public procurement, the former minister and the second suspect continued, in 2018, to take action to award the contract to the companies of the second suspect.

"Finally, after having conducted an open public procurement procedure, the MRRFEU concluded a purchase contract for this information system with the companies linked to the third suspect, a business partner of the second suspect, with the price unrealistically set at HRK 12,991,000.00 (EUR 1.73 million) – although the realistic price of that system would have been approximately HRK 2,000,000.00 (EUR 265,000). "

As much as 85% of the procurement of that software was financed by the EU’s Operational Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion grant.

"The above amount, inclusive of VAT (HRK 16,238,750.00 in total, or EUR 2.16 million), was paid to the account of the company of the third suspect, after which a part of the money was transferred to the accounts of the companies of the second and third suspect, and a part was withdrawn in cash."

The EPPO concluded that "In the end, the financial interests of the European Union and the Republic of Croatia were damaged by the total amount of EUR 1.8 million."

For more on politics, follow TCn's dedicated page.

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Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Gordan Maras' Post-Political Life: From Politics to Business

September 29, 2021 - Gordan Maras' post-political life sees the former economy minister and MP going into private business.

Croats often discuss politics, whether on social media or in bars over coffee or something stronger. As such, one could say they love politics but despise politicians.

If you regularly read TCN's political section, you can see why. Numerous instances of corruption among political elites or an inadequate bureaucratic system are just the tip of the iceberg. Add-in politicians (for a year, most notably President Zoran Milanović and Prime minister Andrej Plenković) spending more time insulting each other than dealing with the many problems Croatian people have, and you can really understand the constant trash-talking about politicians that Croats almost constantly do.

Some Croatian politicians, such as the late Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić, despite heavy criticism, remain in power till the end of their lives. In contrast, others, such as former Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, eventually retire from politics (and then spend time writing for TCN, no less).

One such politician who recently said goodbye to politics is Gordan Maras.

Many Croatian media outlets, such as Dnevnik.hr reported on Maras's social media post that his 20-year-old long political career doesn't mean the end of his working days.

After briefly being unemployed, Gordan Maras came with a business plan and became an entrepreneur. More precisely, he will be a consultant for European Funds, as well as a project financing advisor. Basically, if you have an idea to start a business, but you don't know how to start it, Maras is now the guy to talk to.

''I feel full of energy, thirsty to work and aware that I have a fresh start in front of me and I'll do everything I can to use this opportunity,'' Maras said, as noted by Dnevnik.hr

In general, apart from receiving edgy humour and cynicism at your expense from the public, the end of a political career may not be so bad after all. If your political endeavor brought you to parliamentary level politics, you're in line to receive a parliamentary pension. As Mirovina.hr writes, a parliamentary pension is 10,077 kuna, allowing for a more than pleasant life.

''If an MP has held office for three consecutive years, in each term longer than half, he may retire with 15 years of service. His pension is 55 percent of his base salary (parliamentary net salary), increased by two percent per year of service,'' informs Mirovina.hr when stating the conditions you need to satisfy for a Croatian parliamentary pension.

Gordan Maras, having been an MP from 2007 and economy minister from 2011 to 2016, certainly has the right to this luxurious pension. Not to mention the fact that his last job was being the head of Zagreb's local SDP branch.

Maras stated how ''a parliamentary pension was never an option'' and despite corruption scandals he was allegedly involved in, that is a praiseworthy decision on his part. But the downside is that he still received state aid for his new private business adventure. Let's just hope he will pay his taxes.

Gordan Maras's career change is followed by the tensions in the Croatian Socialdemocratic party (SDP) after new party president Peđa Grbin removed Maras and three other (in)famous party members: Rajko Ostojić, Zvane Brumnić, and Nikša Vukas. As TCN reported, this decision caused an unbelievable tremble within SDP, the second biggest political force in all of Croatia.

Despite the current president Zoran Milanović (who is also the former prime minister and the head of the government which had Maras as a minister) starting his career in SDP, the party hasn't won any parliamentary elections since 2015. Grbin hoped to improve SDP's rating by removing those associated with ''less than top quality'' political work (or alleged criminal affairs) in the past from the party. He also believes these individuals are the result of less than satisfactory election results with Rijeka being the only big city an with SDP mayor.

With Maras now retired, new faces came to the parliament. From the green-left Možemo! Party (currently ruling Zagreb) or the Centre-party Fokus (who earned their name in handling Sveta Nedelja ) to conservative star Marin Miletić from the Most party. With new names for every political preference, there may be a glimmer of hope that these new names will work honorably and convince Croats that politicians aren't so bad after all. Who knows, maybe the millionth time's a charm?

Learn more about Croatian politics and history from the 1990s on our TC page.

For more news from SDP Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Brits Film Croatian Officials Asking for Nonexistent Fee Payments

September the 5th, 2021 - There's bad promotion and there's bad promotion. Unfortunately, it's difficult for it to get much worse than this for the country's nautical tourism as Croatian officials are secretly filmed by some British tourists asking for the payment of fees which don't even exist.

As Morski writes, after the recent scandal from the Slavonski Samac border crossing, where two Croatian customs officers asked for a bribe from a foreign tourist, another scandal related to bribes this time involving other Croatian officials managed to remain outside the Croatian media space - until now that is. The location is Dubrovnik, the month is July, and two British sailor bloggers used a hidden camera to film Croatian officials charging them non-existent fees.

The British informed the Croatian Ministry of Tourism, which confirmed that the officials in question had indeed deceived them.

Carefree sailing along the Croatian coast for a pair of British sailors turned into a first-class scandal, which was documented and published on their YouTube channel and on a website that brings together sailors. It all happened back in July this year when the British couple went to the authorities located in Dubrovnik to announced their departure from Croatian waters, with the aim of continuing their journey down south to nearby Montenegro.

It seems innocent enough, but when they got to speak to the Croatian officials, they fined them the equivalent of 100 pounds because they allegedly failed to pay the additional sojourn tax. The police didn't explain to them exactly what the fee in question was, but the British sailors had to pay it. And in cash.

The sailors state that after this odd incident they contacted the Croatian Ministry of Tourism regarding the disputed payment, and they were told in an official response that there is no such sojourn tax or legal article that obliges boaters to pay such fees. In other words, the Croatian officials based in Dubrovnik robbed them. The British tourists naturally demanded a refund.

''I have to admit that this event left a bitter taste in my mouth. While we were sailing towards Montenegro, we agreed that we'd never return to Croatia again,'' the unsurprisingly indignant British woman said in her video.

The video's description reads: ''It was a shock to be threatened with arrest and have our passports taken away when trying to check out of Croatia. We have had problems before with Croatian officials but we really didn't expect this level of illegal activity'' which is damning for Croatian nautical tourism, which is otherwise very popular. The comments below are also from people who are now reconsidering paying the Croatian coast a visit.

Watch the video in full below:

The Ministry of Tourism was then asked to provide a comment on this case, as their services had indeed responded to the British tourists in question that the tax they had to pay to the officials did not even exist. Attempts have also been made to find out whether the individuals working for the police in question were properly punished for extortion, but no response has been received yet.

An initial report stated that the officers involved were customs officers, but that was swiftly corrected by Croatian customs, who stated that they have nothing to do with foreign nationals and their notifications about leaving Croatia, and that this was a matter involving the police, not them.

It is also important to note that Croatian customs officers operate under the Ministry of Finance, and not under the Interior Ministry (MUP), like the police do.

For more, make sure to follow our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Bosnian Prosecutors Opposed to Former Dinamo Coach Zoran Mamić's Extradition

ZAGREB, 24 Aug, 2021 - Prosecutorial authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and former football coach Zoran Mamić's attorneys said  on Tuesday that they were opposed to his extradition to Croatia, claiming that the legal requirements for his extradition had not been met.

Mamić's attorney Zdravko Rajić and Davor Martinović presented their arguments why Mamić should not be handed over to Croatia.

Croatia's judiciary has requested Mamić's extradition on three grounds: to conduct his retrial based on a Supreme Court ruling quashing a part of the relevant verdict handed down by Osijek County Court ruling, to get him serve a sentence of four years and eight months based on a final ruling; and for the purpose of an investigation into the bribing of three Osijek judges who were in charge of the cases against Zoran Mamić and his brother, former football mogul Zdravko Mamić.

Mamić's attorneys claimed that these were no grounds for extradition.

His attorneys claim that the entire court proceedings against Mamić in Osijek are deeply contaminated because the judges in the proceedings are currently being investigated for graft.

Martinović claimed further that the decision for the imprisonment of the Mamić brothers was still not final because they had not yet submitted an appeal against that decision.

On 12 August the Bosnian court deliberated a separate extradition request for Zdravko Mamić, however, a decision has not been delivered yet.

The prosecutorial authorities in Sarajevo were opposed to the extradition, similarly to previous cases.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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