Former Culture Minister Indicted for Using Official Funds to Pay for Private Expenses

Total Croatia News

Andreja Zlatar Violić used official credit card for private purposes.

After an investigation, the Office for Combating Corruption and Organized Crime (USKOK) issued an indictment against former Culture Minister Andreja Zlatar Violić, charging her with abuse of office and authority by raising cash and paying private expenses with the official card of the Ministry of Culture, reports Jutarnji List on April 22, 2017.

Although more than 159,000 kuna was subsequently repaid from her salary and by cash payments to the treasury, Zlatar Violić, according to the USKOK’s claims, damaged the state budget by slightly more than 99,000 kuna.

On its website, the USKOK announced that the defendant, who was described only with initials and the former position, had been charged that from March 2012 to March 2015 acted against the provisions of the government’s regulations and “used business credit cards issued to the Ministry of Culture for her private needs, at the expense of the state budget.” They argue that, for her private needs, the former minister took out more than 146,000 kuna, which she used without paying any interest, while the Ministry of Culture was additionally charged with 4,766 kuna as the cash payment fee.

Additionally, USKOK claims that Zlatar Violić had spent nearly 100,000 kuna on paying for private expenses in “various catering facilities and other retail outlets” in Croatia and abroad.

Due to the affair, Zlatar Violić resigned in March 2015. She was succeeded by Deputy Minister Berislav Šipuš, who was in March this year also indicted for taking out cash and paying for private expenses with an official card. He allegedly damaged the state budget for more 68,000 kuna.

Zlatar Violić’s party HNS announced that it hopes the former minister would prove her innocence and clarify the situation, pointing out that she had resigned due the affair as an act of moral responsibility. “As a responsible party, we must not comment on court proceedings that are in the initial phase, and we hope that all the facts and circumstances will be established in the proceedings and that Andrea Zlatar Violić will prove her innocence and clarify her role in the above-mentioned case,” stated HNS.


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