ZAGREB, April 23, 2019 – Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) deputy president Milijan Brkić said on Tuesday, ahead of the party’s presidency meeting in Zagreb, that in a democracy state institutions rather than political parties prosecute crimes.
“Today the inner presidency is holding a regular meeting. The party president proposes topics for the agenda. As far as I know, this is the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and not the Communist Party, thank God. In a democracy there are state institutions in charge of prosecution and those are definitely not political parties,” Brkić said in his comment on media speculations that the HDZ leadership is expected to discuss Brkić’s political fate after he, his brother Jozo Brkić and two more men – Franjo Varga and Blaž Curić – were put under investigation for hacking computer systems.
Brkić today said, while coming to the meeting, that he had never criticised the state institutions. Several days ago, Brkić said that it was disgraceful into what some individuals had turned state institutions.
A police statement released on 15 April read that members of the National Police Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organised Crime (PNUSKOK) in Osijek had completed “a criminal investigation into four Croatian nationals, aged 37, 49, 50 and 50, and on 15 April 2019 filed with the Osijek Municipal Prosecutor’s Office a criminal report due to the suspicion that they had committed offences against computer systems, programmes and data to the detriment of several persons.”
“There is reasonable suspicion that over a longer period of time one of the suspects, acting at the instigation and with the assistance of the other suspects, committed a number of offences involving the unlawful interception of computer data and computer abuse, thus unlawfully accessing the content of the injured parties’ user accounts and making it available to the other suspects,” the police statement said.
The prosecutorial authorities in Osijek have recently stated they have launched a confidential investigation into the four suspects, and that the probe is confidential for the sake of protection of private life of the women whose computer systems were hacked.
According to media reports, Brkić was recently questioned for intercepting his former wife’s emails by using the services of Varga, a former Interior Ministry IT specialist accused in the fake texts case. The media said Brkić’s brother Jozo was also accused in the interception case and that the police allegedly found out about it by examining the computers and documents seized in the case against Varga and Curić, former chauffeur of Agriculture Minister Tomislav Tolušić and a close friend of Brkic.
The USKOK anti-corruption office suspects Varga and Curić in the fake texts case of obstructing the collection of evidence and of aiding and abetting in the commission of said crime.
HDZ leader and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said before the start of a meeting of the party’s leadership that the HDZ inner presidency would discuss a budget surplus, the country’s credit rating and the party’s victory in the forthcoming elections for the European Parliament.
Asked by the press whether the party leadership would discuss the political fate of the HDZ deputy president Milijan Brkić, who was put under investigation for hacking his former wife’s emails, Plenković said that they would discuss “the surplus, credit investment rating, the victory in the European elections and other topics”.
Responding to reporters’ questions about Brkić’s fate, the HDZ political secretary and Public Administration Minister, Lovro Kuščević, said that everyone involved in the case must be heard out.
“We have heard that Brkić has something to say about this situation, and when we hear what both sides have to say, we will discuss it,” Kuščević said.
More HDZ news can be found in the Politics section.