Wednesday, 23 September 2020

DORH: Some Criticism Transgresses Acceptable Standards in Democracy

ZAGREB, Sept 23, 2020 - Commenting on the latest criticism in the media and by politicians regarding the Janaf scandal probe, the DORH state prosecutor's office said on Wednesday that a democracy recognises a right to express criticism, however, some of the objections to DORH's work transgress acceptable standards.

"In every democratic society there is a right or there should be the right to express criticism about the work of institutions, including the work of judicial bodies. However, some critical comments, which include underestimation and accusations of the work of DORH and the USKOK anti-corruption office that we have seen over the past few days, transgress acceptable standards in a democratic society that respects the rule of law and tripartite division of government power as the highest value guaranteed by the Constitution," DORH said in a press release.

Pace and method of work depends on evidence collected

DORH said that it works independently based on the Constitution and other regulations and that it always acts exclusively within its legal framework.

DORH underlined that the duties and tasks of DORH and USKOK are to conduct investigations, and reveal crime, in cooperation with the police, and bring to justice perpetrators whose convictions are then based on laws.

Unverified information is disseminated to obstruct work of criminal proceedings

"After a decision is made to conduct an investigation which, pursuant to legal provisions, explains the reasons for suspicion that the suspects have committed a crime, the contents of that decision become accessible to all stakeholders in the procedure.

"The Penal Code gives every defendant the right to a defence that they consider to be most favourable to their case and often release unverified and incomplete information with the aim of obstructing procedures, which is what we are witnessing now," DORH said on its web site.

Attempts to discredit the work of the state prosecutor certainly does not contribute to efforts of DORH to successfully do its job, DORH underscored.

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Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Opposition Set to Call for Inquiry Commission into Prosecutor's Office

ZAGREB, Sept 23, 2020 - After a meeting of left and right opposition parties regarding the launching of an inquiry commission into the work of the DORH state prosecutor's office on Wednesday, MP Nikola Grmoja (Bridge) said that the opposition would work together for a parliamentary inquiry commission to be established. 

Each opposition caucus will propose one MP and someone from the relevant expert services to prepare that framework, Grmoja, who initiated the idea, told reporters, adding that the commission would investigate the influence of politics and the executive government on the work of independent institutions.

"Our aim is find out what influence the executive government, primarily the prime minister and ministers, have on DORH and the police. The investigation we plan to conduct through the parliamentary inquiry commission will not exclude other stakeholders either, we do not intend to spare anyone," said Grmoja.

The entire Opposition has agreed and there are also those statement by President (Zoran Milanovic) who claims that he knew everything about investigations while he was prime minister, and that needs to be investigated too, the Bridge party's official said.

Social Democratic Party (SDP) whip Arsen Bauk said that his party will in principle support the idea to determine how information is being leaked from independent institutions.

He could not go into any more detail, saying that more will be said when the material is prepared to be submitted to the Sabor.

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Tuesday, 2 June 2020

USKOK Says It, DORH Haven't Leaked Information In Wind Park Case

ZAGREB, June 2, 2020 - The State Prosecutor's Office (DORH) and the USKOK anti-corruption office are not the sources of information from the investigation in the wind park case that has been published in the media, USKOK said on Tuesday, adding that the police were ordered to investigate the leaks.

DORH and USKOK are not the sources of the information published in the media because the publication of any information from the investigation undermines breakthroughs in the case, which is why the police were ordered today to investigate, USKOK said. 

In this case, the decision to conduct an investigation was made on May 30 and, in line with the Criminal Procedure Act, it was forwarded to all the accused and their lawyers, at least 29 persons, USKOK said, adding that all the transcripts that had been published were cited in the decision on the investigation.

A comparison of what has been published and the transcripts cited in the decision shows that the published transcripts have been partly misinterpreted, USKOK added.

The fact that only transcripts of conversations cited in the decision on the investigation have been published, thereby being available to a large number of persons, confirms that USKOK is not the source of the information that has been published, USKOK said.

It recalled that in line with the Criminal Procedure Act, after a decision to conduct an investigation is made, all accused and their lawyers are entitled to see the case file and copy it.

Although under the Criminal Procedure Act and investigation is not secret but not public either, DORH and USKOK believe that the publication of information gathered during an investigation undermines breakthroughs in the case, which is why it is highly important to establish who leaked it in this case, USKOK said.

Claims that DORH and USKOK are leaking information discredit the efforts and work of DORH and incite distrust in its work, USKOK said.

Friday, 22 March 2019

''Closing Dubrovnik's Cable Car to Srđ Would be Loss for Everyone''

The City of Dubrovnik wants 30 million kuna and 30 percent of future revenue for the use of the popular Srđ cable car without a concession contract.

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 21st of March, 2019, the several year long ''argument'' over the concession of the Srđ cable car has escalated to the extent it has because the City of Dubrovnik filed a lawsuit against Excelsa nekretnine (real estate) owned by the Lukšić family, accusing them of the unlawful acquisition of money. The amount that City of Dubrovnik is seeking for the use of the popular cable car without a concession agreement is 30 million kuna, as Dubrovnik's mayor Mato Franković announced last week.

He also explained that DORH had given the company a deadline which is the end of this month to comply with the law of the Republic of Croatia, to pay a concession fee to both the City of Dubrovnik and to the state, and by April the 1st, they are obliged to sign a concession agreement with the City of Dubrovnik.

If this doesn't happen, the cable car will be closed because its use would then be illegal, Mato Franković said, adding that a new report showed that the concession fee of 15 percent is too low and the belief is that it should be 30 percent. At the next session of Dubrovnik's City Council, a proposal to annul the old motion and to propose a new one will take place. In an interview with Poslovni Dnevnik, Anto Rusković, the director of Excelsa nekretnine explained why a concession contract has not yet been signed and that the company will not agree to an even higher fee than the one which was previously proposed.

Do you admit that there is a 30 million kuna debt to the City of Dubrovnik? Do you consider that the city's claim is justified?

The City of Dubrovnik filed a lawsuit against Excelsa nekretnine in the amount of 20.1 million kuna, and Excelsa nekretnine will pay as much as is determined by a final court judgment. Given that such verdicts still haven't come to pass, and in order to ensure that the City will be able to be paid if the court's verdict goes in its favour, we have offered the City of Dubrovnik the appropriate means of securing its eventual receivables in good will. It should be stressed that, if [any debt] exists at all, then it has arisen because the City of Dubrovnik hasn't offered a conclusion to the concession contract to date.

Why has a concession agreement between Excelsa nekretnine and the City of Dubrovnik not been signed yet?

Excelsa nekretnine has applied for a concession, with the concessionary terms agreed with the City of Dubrovnik, filed in August 2015, while the City of Dubrovnik hadn't issued a concession decision in accordance with the agreed terms until April 2018. In the meantime, the city brought in and then revoked several concession-related decisions, and the last one from April 2018 hasn't yet been implemented. It's necessary to clarify that we have been seeking concessions since 2010, but we had to wait for the applicable legislation by the state. The law granting concessions to cable cars entrusted to local self-government units was passed in 2014 and then we started negotiations with the city, finally agreeing on the concession conditions in July 2015. Since then, the process has only become more complex and has led us to the situation in which we find ourselves today. If the concession contract was signed in 2015 as was agreed, the City of Dubrovnik would have got its concession fee the entire time and there would be no dispute today.

Is the closure of the cable car expected?

In the potential situation of the closure of the cable car, all sides will suffer significant losses, especially Excelsa nekretnine and its partners, since the work of the cable car provides jobs for a significant number of people.

Furthermore, if the cable car closes, the state budget will lose part of the tax revenue, and the City of Dubrovnik will not receive any revenue from the concession. It's important to note that since the beginning [of the work of the cable car] Excelsa nekretnine has contributed more than 122 million kuna in taxes and contributions to the state budget, predominantly based on the cable car's business.

We believe that the scenario of its potential closure should be avoided, but we're not in a position to make such a decision. Not only are we disappointed in the way the authorities are acting, but we're also frustrated by the fact that, unsuccessfully, we've repeatedly tried to solve this problem with a reasonable and rational approach. Unfortunately, this negative attitude towards investors will not contribute to improving the investment climate in Croatia.

Do you have a license from the Ministry of Transport to work on the lift and on what basis does has it been provided?

Excelsa nekretnine received approval from the Ministry of Transport for the carriage of passengers by cable car before the cable car even started working back in 2010. At that time, such approval was granted instead of a concession due to the long duration of the concession-issuing procedure, as is written in the very approval. Had Excelsa nekretnine not received explicit permission to carry out activities of the carriage of passengers by cable car, we wouldn't have even begun doing so.


The mayor has announced that he will seek 30 percent of the revenue in the concession contract, which should be signed by April the 1st. Are you ready to agree to that?

We still haven't had any insight [into that] and we don't have access to the new expert testimony mentioned by the mayor which points to the need to increase the fee by 30 percent, so we can't comment on it either. On the basis of the previous expert testimony, we can see that such fees, twice the amount previously agreed, is unfounded. The City Council already approved the concession fee in April last year. We consider that the City of Dubrovnik should send a contract under the previously agreed terms and end this whole situation, which has already been going on for far too long.

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Click here for the original article/interview by Marija Crnjak for Poslovni Dnevnik

Sunday, 9 December 2018

PM Andrej Plenković: Finance Minister Zdravko Marić Won't Leave Government

Amid rumours that the finance minister, Zdravko Marić, is set to step down from his position within the Croatian Government as soon as next month, PM Andrej Plenković has been having his refusal to outright deny the claims scrutinised, with some believing that this means Marić's departure was imminent and due to take place in early 2019. It seems however, that Marić isn't going anywhere.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 9th of December, 2018, HDZ President and PM Andrej Plenković said on Saturday that Finance Minister Zdravko Maric isn't going to leave the government.

"There will be no departure," Plenković told journalists after the he was questioned about whether or not he'd talked to Marić himself about his alleged departure from the cabinet before the end of his mandate, as was being circulated by some media outlets.

The Prime Minister, upon being questioned about the criticisms of controversial SDSS President Milorad Pupovac regarding recent arrests in Vukovar, said that he didn't listen to that press conference, adding that the current government is not interfering with the work of the police or with the work of DORH in any manner whatsoever.

He pointed out, in order to quell people's natural suspicions that "there are no invisible political hands" holding any influence over this process.

When asked about the elections for the European Parliament, PM Andrej Plenković stated that the party would be "almost sure" on their own and that at least five mandates can be expected. "We'll win convincingly in those elections," he said briefly.

Concerning the controversy around the procurement of Israeli F-16 aircraft, Plenković reiterated that everything that the Republic of Croatia did in this process was done systematically, thoroughly, and in fine detail, and that open issues, if there are any, exist solely between Israel and the United States of America, and are nothing to do with Croatia or the part Croatia played in the process.

He confirmed that he visited Zagreb's mayor Milan Bandić was taken to hospital yesterday morning, adding that Bandić claims to be feeling good and that he believes that he will recover and be back on his feet quickly.

Make sure to follow our dedicated politics page for more on PM Andrej Plenković, the Croatian Government, and updates from both domestic and European politics in Croatia.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

DORH Sent Police to HNS for Alleged World Cup Final Ticket Resales

The tickets were issued by FIFA and were not for public sale. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

''If Britain Extradites Todorić, He Will Spend 3.5 Years in Custody''

The defense claims that DORH has no evidence to corroborate the indictment and that Todorić has no access to cash to defend himself owing to his now frozen accounts.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Marina Kaštela Concession Saved at Last Minute?

Is Marina Kaštela on its way to better days?

Monday, 16 October 2017

Agrokor: Ivica and Ante Todorić Still in London, Several Arrests Made

Is the net closing in on the big boss?

Monday, 16 October 2017

Todorić Posts Press Release, Calls ''Aggression'' Against Him Political Affair

Ivica Todorić posts a press release on his blog, in which he claims the aggression unleashed against him and his ex Agrokor team is politically charged.

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