A reminder from across the Adriatic that the Croatian legal system’s shameful acquittal of rich Zagreb entrepreneur Tomislav ”Tomo” Horvatinčić hasn’t been forgotten.
Be it his personal fault or the fault of an unethical system, and that is a somewhat philosophical topic for another very long article (or even a book), Tomo Horvatinčić is just one of those people who encompasses everything wrong with society. Maybe that sounds incredibly harsh but it’s the truth.
A self-made man he is, talented he also is, in fact, he’s one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country and this well-known Zagreb face is known for his shrewd business sense and bright ideas. With all that being said (and, more importantly, all of it being true), Horvatinčić also embodies the ”other side” of that medal, as well as the old saying which states that not everything that shines is necessarily a diamond. His social status, his name, and most importantly, his cash, has managed to allow him his escape from justice not just once, but several times.
As Morski writes on the 8th of April, 2018, the Italian Corriere della Sera has published an article on Tomislav Horvatinčić and the long legal process that has been being conducted against him for causing the tragic deaths of an Italian couple at sea, seven years ago. Tomislav Horvatinčić was infamously and shamefully acquitted in October last year before the Municipal Court in Šibenik, and Judge Maja Šupe issued a verdict that he was not guilty of causing the maritime accident back in August 2011, in which the two Italian nationals lost their lives owing to his actions.
To briefly recall, the two Italians were killed in a maritime collision that took place in the sea near Primošten, more precisely, near the islet of Maslinik. The two people in question were the Salpietro couple, whose children are now traumatised by the farcical and downright offensive display of the Croatian legal system in the face of the actions of an (unsurprisingly rich) man who took the lives of their parents. To make matters even worse, this isn’t the first time the speed-loving Horvatinčić has ”lost control” of a vehicle in some way or another, causing horrendous accidents along the way.
The Italian Corriere della Sera asks the readers of the article in question: “Would you have confidence in a justice system that has not yet been able to punish a rich man who was tried for 31 traffic offenses, and who killed two Italian tourists in a boat crash on their sailboat?”
The heavily burdened children of the late couple, Federico and Gaia, have been waiting for justice for seven years, reports Index.
The Italian newspaper details the seven long years of disappointment, heartache and bitterness the children have had to suffer and endure, describing the events of August the 16th, 2011, when the “famous tycoon in Croatia” cut short the lives of the couple in the tragic maritime incident.
The article states that Horvatinčić called the police after the incident and cited from the report that Horvatinčić ”saw the sailboat several hundred meters away” and that he tried to turn his vessel around fifty meters away, but the yacht ”failed to change its direction”. They also cite how Horvatinčić allegedly tried to slow the vessel down, and managed to turn off the yacht’s engine.
Corriere della Sera concludes that it was already far too late, as following the collision that followed, Francesco Salpietro and Mariella Patelli were already dead, their bodies were discovered later.
“The responsibility is very clear”
The Italian newspaper writes that Horvatinčić’s responsibility in this horrific incident is very clear. Especially because the indictment alleges that he “drove a powerful yacht, with an automatic pilot, through the narrow archipelago of Primošten, despite the high density of traffic in the summer months.”
Corriere della Sera also states how he was never punished for his deed which took the lives of the two Italians in such a horrible way. Citing the shameful face Croatia’s legal system decided to put on display for the rest of the world as the now rather infamous judge Maja Šupe released Horvatinčić, without so much as even removing his driving license from his possession. Horvatinčić even went as far as to let everyone know that he was planning on purchasing a new yacht.
Corriere della Sera also recalls the very first verdict of the Municipal Court in Šibenik, whereby Horvatinčić was sentenced to a suspended sentence for causing the traffic accident, was dismissed by the Extraordinary Judicial Council of the Zadar County Court.
The Italian publication rightly believes that in a country where someone can freely cause such an unspeakable tragedy without having to face any real justice or consequences, the act of going out to “buy a faster and bigger yacht in Liguria” with a license still completely valid, should be discouraged at the very least.