If Duhaček’s Claims Are True, Violation of Judges’ Ethics Has Occurred

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, September 18, 2019 – The president of the Association of Croatian Judges, Damir Kontrec, said on Wednesday that if reporter Gordan Duhaček’s claims that the trial judge had visited him in jail prior to his hearing, asking that he pleads guilty, proved true, it would constitute impermissible behaviour contrary to the Judges’ Code of Ethics.

“If the reporter’s claims prove to be true that the judge visited him in jail to say what he intended to do, that sort of conduct is inappropriate, impermissible and contrary to the Judges’ Code of Ethics and harms the reputation of the judicial profession,” said Kontrec.

“However, it is necessary to first determine the relevant facts in order to make such an assessment,” Kontrec told Hina.

He believes that it is good “that the president of the relevant court has requested a detailed report” in order to determine all relevant facts about the case.

Kontrec did not wish to comment on Duhaček’s case specifically, saying that it was underway and the Code of Ethics bans judges from commenting on ongoing cases.

Duhaček told the Index news website, for which he works, about the day he spent in jail after being arrested at Zagreb’s airport. He claims that misdemeanour court judge Krešimir Ožanić visited him in jail ahead of his hearing, threatening to remand him in custody for 30 days if he did not plead guilty. The judge allegedly told him that he considered him guilty not only of writing an offensive message about the police but also of parodying a patriotic song, for which Duhaček still awaits a ruling.

More news about pressures on journalists in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.


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