The State Attorney’s Office of the Republic of Croatia is still making pressure on journalists related to media publications on the latest corruption cases that are already being processed in court or being investigated. The latest example is simply alarming. The State Attorney’s Office has summoned Ilko Ćimić
, the reporter on the most read Croatian internet portal www.index.hr
, to come and give his testimony as a witness on December 08, 2011, because he criticized the work of the State Attorney’s Office in the so-called Kamensko
affair in his articles.
Ćimić has, a year before the official investigation on how the well—known Zagreb textile factory Kamensko was ruined was opened, through his research, obtained and published information on how the well-known media mogul Ninoslav Pavić
(co-owner of Europa Press Holding group
, where the other co-owner is the German WAZ media group
), the largest Croatian capitalist Ivica Todorić
, owner of 80 food industries, the largest national supermarket chain ‘Konzum’ and the largest press distribution chain ‘Tisak’, and Miroslav Kutle
, who has, in 1990s, through the connections with the ruling party at that time, managed to become the owner of some hundred different companies, which he managed to ruin financially, by withdrawing the capital from them and transferring it to foreign accounts, are all involved in this case. Several judicial proceedings have been initiated against Kutle later, but most of them failed for procedural reasons. At the moment, he stands convicted of two minor economic crime offences, but he is unavailable to Croatian judiciary and is currently living in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In a dozen of his texts, the journalist Ilko Ćimić wrote, before the official investigation on Kamensko was even initiated, that the media mogul Pavić, because of his previous debt to the escaped business magnate Kutle, has used his company com.com to purchase share of the company Dalta
, which owned the majority of Kamensko shares, and that this Dalta was informally owned by business magnate Kutle. Business magnate Ivica Todorić, the owner of the largest press distribution chain Tisak, lent Pavić money to purchase Dalta. In the end, the Kamensko company went bankrupt, all money was withdrawn from the company, and some 100 workers were left with no work and no salaries that have been owned to them. The State Attorney’s Office started the investigation and accused only two minor players, the bankruptcy manager of Kamensko and the formal owner of Dalta. Pavić, Kutle and Todorić have been subject to no investigations or charges. The journalist Ćimić has also recently published the information from the official investigation which confirm that the previously mentioned business magnates have been involved in this affair, and that they have organized it, so he publicly asked the State Attorney’s Office (DORH) and The Bureau for Combating of Corruption and Organized Crime (USKOK) why they haven’t charged the previously mentioned business magnates with anything. In response, the State Attorney’s Office is now summoning the journalist to come and testify on where he got the information from the official investigation.
The journalist in question has criticized the State Attorney’s Office and their The Bureau for Combating of Corruption and Organized Crime (USKOK) as they haven’t intentionally press any charges against powerful media magnates. This is not the first time DORH is summoning journalists for such interviews. It usually happens when some information that is part of some investigation is published, which confirms that State Attorney’ Office is selective in their investigations and that they are filing charges and initiating judicial actions depending on the political or capital’s influence on their. Similar thing happened recently, when the testimonies of the ex-treasurer of the HDZ, the ruling political party, have been published, confirming that the entire party leadership, and not only the accused ex-prime minister and ex-president of the party, Ivo Sanader
, knew about the existence of HDZ black funds that have been used to finance party’s election campaigns, even the one in 2005, of current HDZ President and the President of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, Ms. Jadranka Kosor. In the end, the State Attorney’s office initiated the investigation against HDZ for using black funds, but the President of the Government, Ms. Jadranka Kosor, is no suspect in this investigation, although, according to this Party’s statute she is the responsible person, thus also criminally liable for party’s actions, which is why she should be charged with criminal offences.
I’m linking the latest text on this subject published by the Index web portal editorial board. I'm kindly asking you for prompt reaction of RSF, and other international organizations for porotect of juornalists and human rights, to protect the journalist Ćimić and all those other professional journalists that are not blindly serving the State Attorney’s Office and the police, but are critical of their work in the interest of wider public, democracy and the true rule of law.Transfered earlier article from tportal.hr
Abuse of powers?
Two Kamensko executives taken in for questioning
The last director of the bankrupt textile factory Kamensko, Antun Crlenjak, and Davor Vlajcevic, chairman of Kamensko's supervisory board and co-owner of Vilinske Poljane company, which is Kamensko's biggest shareholder, were taken in by the police for questioning on Wednesday evening on alleged wrongdoing that resulted in the bankruptcy of the Zagreb-based factory, sources close to the investigation said.
The media have reported that Crlenjak is suspected of abuse of powers.
Ministry of the Interior spokesman Krunoslav Borovec would not comment on the case, while the spokeswoman for the Zagreb County Prosecutor's Office, Dunja Pavlicek, said she would be able to say more about the case on Thursday.
The media have been reporting for some time now that Kamensko was ruined for the purpose of obtaining valuable land and factory real estate and that police and prosecutors have been conducting an investigation in the case for quite some time over suspected abuse of powers and money laundering. It is speculated that the investigators' suspicions were confirmed by statements given by directors of companies which were used to carry out suspicious money transactions after which Kamensko went bankrupt.
The two Kamensko executives were taken in for questioning after last week representatives of the factory's workers and of the non-governmental organisations The Right to the City and Green Action staged a protest outside the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in Zagreb seeking an answer to the question as to what steps had been taken against persons whom they consider responsible for the factory's bankruptcy, notably Crlenjak.
Chief Public Prosecutor Mladen Bajic and the Director of the Office for the Prevention of Corruption and Organised Crime (USKOK), Dinko Cvitan, told the protesters that the relevant institutions were acting on their complaint, filed last December, and that some of its elements were already being dealt with by courts.
The protesters also wanted to know whether the investigation would be expanded to include those who they believed were behind Crlenjak, namely Miroslav Kutle, in whose Globus Group Crlenjak had worked, the co-owner of the EPH newspaper publisher, Ninoslav Pavic, and the owner of the Agrokor food concern, Ivica Todoric.
The protesters believe that the financial destruction of Kamensko was organised by Kutle so that he could get hold of a valuable piece of land in central Zagreb, and that Pavic and Todoric allegedly helped him in it by purchasing a fictitious firm called Dalta and paying Kutle millions for it although it was actually worthless.
EPH has dismissed on several occasions accusations about Pavic's involvement in the case.
Kamensko workers staged protest rallies and strikes to warn the public and relevant institutions about their suspicions and 20 of them staged a hunger strike in September 2010. The decision on Kamensko's bankruptcy was made in October 2010.