HDZ Member Franjo Lucic to be Jailed for Attempts to Bribe Journalist

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, in a session which was held back on June the 7th, 2022, the Council of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia accepted the appeal of the state attorney, and the verdict of the first-instance court in the sentencing decision of HDZ member Franjo Lucic was changed in such a way that the accused was sentenced to a prison term of one year for offering a bribe to the aforementioned journalist, instead of being given community service.

With that decision, the defendant’s appeal was rejected as unfounded, the Supreme Court announced.

The Supreme Court considers that the first-instance court, after correctly determining mitigating circumstances on the part of the accused (who has no criminal record otherwise), overestimated the circumstances, ignoring the fact that the accused committed a serious crime of corruption against a journalist, thereby grossly violating the provisions of Article 38 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, which guarantees the freedom of thought and expression, which includes, in particular, freedom of the press and other means of communication, freedom of speech and public speaking, although as a member of the Croatian Parliament he (Franjo Lucic) was obliged to protect and promote the rights of citizens guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia.

For not writing and publishing a certain text, HDZ member Franjo Lucic offered the journalist three times more compensation than the media company would be paying him.

As a reminder, in the indictment from back in March 2018, USKOK accused HDZ member Franjo Lucic that on July the 26th, 2017 in Pozega, he offered Telegram journalist Drago Hedl, who was collecting information about his business and financial transactions as a representative of the Croatian Parliament and his companies, a monetary reward to not write about information that he collected because the article would harm him as a member of parliament and as an entrepreneur.

Lucic was accused of telling the journalist in a telephone conversation, which Hedl recorded, that for not writing the text he would pay him three times more than the compensation he would receive from the media company and that the payout of said money was “not in question”, as long as the gathering of information about him and his companies would not be made public.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated politics section.


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