HDZ Meets, Brkić Denies Allegations

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ZAGREB, October 2, 2018 – Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Andrej Plenković said on Tuesday evening that he had talked with HDZ deputy president Milijan Brkić about the latest allegations directed against him and also underscored that the HDZ wants everything to be clarified regarding media reports that in 2011 Brkić had alerted suspects involved in an elite prostitution ring that they were under police surveillance.

What seems to me is that he denies all allegations published in the press and that those are the topics already recycled, Plenković said after the ruling party’s presidency and national committee held a meeting in Zagreb.

The HDZ position is clear, we want everything to be clarified, primarily the fake texts scandal that obviously has several layers, and when it comes to this police information leak, we should see, Plenković added.

Addressing reporters after the meeting, Plenković recalled that earlier in the day the interior ministry had issued a press release about the latest allegations.

In its response to the Nacional weekly’s report that Brkić in 2011 informed suspects in a case involving elite prostitution that they were under surveillance, the Interior Ministry stated that in June 2011 it had provided the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor (DORH) with all the information it had about how specific inquiries were compromised. During the criminal investigation in 2011, the police unit that obtained information about specific inquiries having been compromised notified the DORH about all information to that effect, the ministry says.

This prompted Plenković to say that also DORH might give its position on the matter. Those are the topics from the previous periods, from 2011 and this is something I learnt now, Plenković said.

In its latest issue, Nacional published police documents purportedly showing that Brkić, who was at the time national deputy chief of police, committed a serious crime in 2011 by alerting a criminal ring involved in elite prostitution that they were under police investigation and surveillance, thus undermining the investigation.

While denying the article, Brkić said earlier in the day that “this is a recycling of old articles. As far as I hear, the Ministry of the Interior has issued a statement. Look at that statement and see what the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor did about it, whether that process was brought to a conclusion, and then you will be able to make your own conclusions.”

Asked by the press if he believed Brkić, Plenković said that they were talking about the whole situation very openly and that the developments were not pleasant for the HDZ deputy president, either. “We will try to see that everything is investigated thoroughly and to establish the truth,” Plenković said.

He dismissed the oppositions’ accusations that all this was about an internal conflict in the HDZ as “absurd and banal”, and countered that they obviously did not understand the division of branches of power. “What I want as the prime minister is to have the security and intelligence system impermeable.”

As for Brkić’s claims that somebody evidently wanted him to be framed, Plenković responded: “I do not speculate about such things. I definitely know that all this has nothing to do with HDZ activities.”


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