5 of Late Zagreb Mayor’s Associates Convicted, Pripuz Acquitted in Agram Graft

Total Croatia News

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Photo: Dalibor Urukalovic/PIXSELL
Photo: Dalibor Urukalovic/PIXSELL

The former chief of staff of Bandic’s office, Miro Laco, was given the highest sentence of 14 months for illegal employment and use of official cars.

Former director of the city’s ZET public transport company, Ivan Tolić, was sentenced to nine months. Former director of the Čistoća waste collection company, Miljenko Benko, was sentenced to eight months, while long-time head of the mayor’s professional services, Vidoje Bulum was sentenced to seven months.

Former secretary of the Zagreb Sports Federation Zdenko Antunović, who,  towards the end of the trial, pleaded guilty to unlawful employment and the use of an official car for private purposes, received a suspended sentence of eight months and will not go to prison if he does not repeat the crime in two years.

All defendants were acquitted of charges of setting up a waste disposal operation for Pripuz’s companies, as well as charges of exchanging city land with the Bramgrad company. 

The verdict, which was announced after a marathon trial by Judge Rahela Valentić acquitted former Bandić’s adviser Željko Horvat, former acting Director of the Procurement Service of Zagreb Holding Ivan Markus, Public Procurement Officer of Zagreb Holding Filip Čulo, former head of the City Office for Property and Legal Affairs Koraljka Rožanković and director of the Bramgrad construction company Branko Mihaljević, along with Pripuz and the former head of the city’s properties office and legal affairs Ines Bravić.

Most of the accused, including the principal defendant Pripuz, pleaded not guilty from the beginning, but some of them plea-bargained with the Uskok anti-corruption office during the proceedings.

Indictment filed in late 2015

The former head of the Zagreb Holding’s branch for the management of sports facilities, Dragutin Kosić, and the former head of the City Gasworks, Ante Dodig, who were convicted at the beginning of the proceedings, pleaded guilty to illegal employment.

In addition to Bandić, the indictment also included the president of the Holding’s management board, Slobodan Ljubičić, but the proceedings in his case were treated separately due to illness.

Bandić and his associates were arrested in October 2014 over the Agram graft scandal, and Uskok filed an indictment against the former mayor, his associates, and business partners for alleged financial shenanigans to the detriment of Zagreb in mid-December 2015.

The indictment was confirmed on seven counts by the court in March 2018, while three related to waste disposal were then returned to the prosecution to amend them and were upheld only at the end of October 2019.

For more, check out our politics section.


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