November 13, 2023 – After he caused a traffic accident last Saturday, Minister Banožic was dismissed from his duties. Lawyer Fran Olujic says that it is too early to talk about how long of a prison sentence Mario Banožić could receive.
“The Prime Minister acted correctly after dismissing Mario Banožić from his ministerial duties after a traffic accident occurred on Saturday morning”, said political scientist Jakov Žižić in the program U mreži prvog / reports 24Sata on the subject of the traffic accident that the now former Minister of Defense, Mario Banožić caused at the exit from Vinkovci last weekend.
Lawyer Fran Olujić believes that it is too early to talk about how much punishment Banožić could receive because the qualification of that criminal offense has not been fully determined, i.e. whether or not it was negligence.
“The Prime Minister showed his determination to resolve everything immediately, considering all possible criminal-legal implications”, added Žižić.
After dismissing Banožić, the Prime Minister authorized State Secretary Zdravko Jakop to lead the Ministry of Defense.
“Another possibility is that the prime minister reaches out to someone from the party, who may have specialized in defense policy”, said Žižić and mentioned Anta Bačić. The third possibility, he said, is for the prime minister to reach out to someone he would like to promote to take over that department.
Lawyer Olujić said, on the other hand, that the qualification as to whether it will really be a criminal offense due to negligence or intent has not yet been fully determined.
The Vukovar-Srijem police department announced in a press release that it is filing a criminal complaint for the criminal offense of causing an accident from Article 227 of the Criminal Code in case of fatal consequences. The legislator has foreseen two situations – if it is negligence, then the punishment is from one to eight years in prison, and if not, the punishment is from 3 to 15 years in prison – explained Olujić and added that the decision for such criminal offenses is on the competent county and not municipal courts.
It is difficult to predict how things will develop, as it depends on a number of factors. It is to be expected that the state attorney’s office will formally launch an investigation. From that moment on, the criminal proceedings against Banožić will begin. In that investigation, it will be necessary to conduct a traffic expert inspection. It all depends on that expert opinion, but possibly also on other types of expert opinion. The meteorological expert opinion also comes into consideration, as the claim was that there was fog – Olujić said.