Former HDZ Minister to Present Defence at Corruption Trial

Total Croatia News

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ZAGREB, January 21, 2019 – Former Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) minister Božidar Kalmeta, who is on trial for siphoning money from road companies, is expected to present his defence before the Zagreb Country court on Wednesday, January 23, and according to his counsel, Kalmeta will once again reject all corruption accusations.

“A total of 90 witnesses and financial expert witnesses have been questions during 54 hearings and not a single witness accused Kalmeta as the perpetrator,” attorney Krešimir Vilajtović told Hina.

The USKOK anti-corruption agency suspects Kalmeta of arranging with the Fimi Media marketing firm the production of the film “Croatia’s Transport Renaissance” without a proper public procurement procedure, defrauding his ministry of more than 600,000 kuna (80,000 euro).

The indictment claims that in 2007 and 2008 Kalmeta used his ministerial position to arrange the production of the said film with a Fimi Media executive, avoiding the public procurement procedure and “knowing that there was no need to procure and pay for that film with the ministry’s money”.

USKOK also claims that Kalmeta brought together people from his transport ministry, HAC and the HC road operator and that they shared over 15 million kuna and 850,000 euro siphoned from road maintenance and construction companies.

Kalmeta dismissed all charges.

The other nine accused in this case are Kalmeta’s former close associates and heads of national road companies.

More news on the corruption issues in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.


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