Minister of Defense Damir Krsticevic Announces Resignation

Daniela Rogulj

May 7, 2020 – An extraordinary press conference of the Ministry of Defense started at 7:45 pm in Zemunik, after a military plane crashed after 4 pm, killing two soldiers. During the press conference, Defense Minister Damir Krsticevic announced his resignation.

Minister of Defense Damir Krsticevic and Armed Forces Chief of the General Staff spoke at the conference concerning the military plane crash, reports

Admiral Robert Hranj said instructor Lieutenant Marko Novkovic was killed in the crash.

The cause of the crash is still unknown. An investigative commission has been formed. Hranj expressed his condolences to the families.

It was said at the conference that the plane crashed half an hour after takeoff. There were no problems with the plane, and Marko Novkovic was a very experienced pilot.

Minister Damir Krsticevic said that it was very difficult to lose a soldier. He remembered the accident that happened in January in Zablace, where two soldiers also lost their lives. Krsticevic received information about today’s accident shortly after 4 pm. He expressed his condolences to the families.

“I received information around 4 pm that an accident had taken place. I immediately went to Zemunik. During the trip, I heard from the president and the prime minister and informed them about this event. It is tough to lose a Croatian soldier, and it is difficult for every defense minister and every commander in the Croatian Army. As we know, three months ago, we had a tragic helicopter accident when we also lost two young lives.

What is important is that everything is investigated, I am talking about the whole system, and the truth must be told and we must be transparent about everything. We are forming a commission with the chief aviation investigator who needs to do a detailed investigation into this event,” the minister said.

“I also ordered the Chief of the General Staff to form his own commission to investigate all military circumstances and to look into everything that needs to be investigated,” Krsticevic added.

“Our task is to be with families and we will provide all the necessary help and support. Everything we know and can do. As Minister of Defense, I want to express my condolences to all members of the Croatian Air Force and the entire army. This is a huge loss for the Croatian Army. As of today, I am resigning from the position of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of the Republic of Croatia,” Krsticevic concluded.

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