Wednesday, 23 February 2022

Attorney Confirms Hiring by Deputy Prime Minister Milošević

ZAGREB, 23 Feb 2022 - Attorney Anto Nobilo said on Tuesday that Deputy Prime Minister Boris Milošević hired him after the USKOK anti-corruption office accused him of incitement to abuse of office in the allocation of incentives to businesses.

Speaking to Hina, Nobilo said he was now waiting to see the case file so that he could start preparing a defence.

He said Milošević had not been questioned at USKOK nor summoned, and that he would not state his defence before seeing the case file.

Nobilo said Milošević was accused of incitement to abuse of office.

Speaking for RTL television earlier in the evening, he said that, judging by the decision to conduct an investigation, incitement was suspected but there was room for a defence.

"Milošević believes that he is not guilty," Nobilo said. "He advocated for the constituents who elected him and did not ask someone else to commit a crime."

Nobilo said Milošević should not appeal against the investigation, which is also looking into Darko Horvat, who was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of abuse of office, after which he was relieved of duty as construction minister at his own request.

"I suggested against it because there is reasonable doubt. USKOK embarked on a criminal procedure absolutely correctly upon getting a witness deposition. It believed the deposition and that, as a basis of reasonable doubt, is enough to launch an investigation," Nobilo said.

USKOK is investigating six persons. Horvat, who is in one month's custody, and his former aide Ana Mandac are accused of abuse of office.

Besides Milošević, USKOK is accusing of incitement to abuse of office, according to unconfirmed information, Regional Development and EU Funds Ministry state secretary Velimir Žunac, the head of the Administration for assisted areas, Katica Mišković, and former minister Tomislav Tolušić.

As the main suspect, Horvat was arrested after Mandac told USKOK that incentives were allocated to businesses that did not meet the criteria when Horvat served as economy minister. Horvat claims he was only signing documents brought to him by Mandac.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Posavec Resigns as Međimurje County Head, Granted Pre-Trial Release

ZAGREB, 11 Sept, 2021 - Međimurje County head Matija Posavec and the chairman of the management board of the County Road Directorate, Josip Kobal, have been granted a pre-trial release after being questioned by USKOK corruption investigators.

USKOK has said it has opened an investigation into six suspects in two separate cases, requesting investigative custody for only two suspects.

Lawyer Davorin Zalatarek confirmed to Hina on Saturday morning that his client Posavec had been released last night and that another suspect, SDP MP and former Čakovec Mayor Stjepan Kovač, was expected to be released soon. He said he could not discuss details because the investigation was still ongoing.

USKOK said on Saturday morning that Posavec had been released after admitting the crime he is suspected of, and that he had resigned as head of Međimurje County.

Lawyer Berislav Živković said he was not surprised that his client Kobal had been released, because there were no legal grounds for him to be remanded in custody.

Posavec is suspected of fixing jobs with county administration and of receiving a HRK 10,000 (€1,330) bribe from Kobal to secure another term of office for him on the management board of the Međimurje County Roads Directorate.

Kovač is suspected of using fake text messages with death threats against himself to prompt a police investigation and find out who was behind a website that wrote negative articles about him before the May local elections. Police officer Mario Sever and Damir Ledenčan, who sent staged threatening messages, are also suspects in this case.

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