SDP Accuses HDZ of Abusing Intelligence System

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ZAGREB, December 22, 2018 – Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Davor Bernardić has said that accusations by Mate Radeljić, who was relieved of his duties as President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović’s domestic policy advisor, again give rise to suspicion about the abuse of the intelligence system by the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ).

In a statement issued on Friday, in which he described the circumstances of his dismissal, Radeljić said that he was threatened by the Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA) and that the president told him he did not fit her plans as he was an obstacle in her relations with the prime minister.

Radeljić said that he was informed of the decision on his dismissal by Davor Franić, the chief of staff of SOA head Daniel Markić, and that Franić said he had to let him know that SOA “will protect the president in every way from my possible negative activity after leaving the president’s office and that he was ready, if so instructed, to run into me with a car.”

“Radeljić’s accusation is serious and gives rise to serious suspicion that the HDZ has abused the intelligence system. If the President really used SOA to settle scores with Radeljić, then she must leave because she has violated the Constitution. If she did it in agreement with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, in exchange for getting the HDZ’s support in presidential elections, then Plenković, too, has to leave. The ruling structures are evidently prepared to do anything to stay in power,” Bernardić told reporters during a visit to Sisak.

“I can only call on the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor (DORH) to respond promptly and interview all those involved, primarily the president and the prime minister. It never happened before in our 27-year-long history that the intelligence community, which is controlled by the prime minister, is faced with such serious accusations of death threats. That’s why this should be investigated,” Bernardić said.

He said that he expected DORH to act as its failure to respond in earlier scandals was the reason why people were losing trust in state institutions.

Bernardić said that Social Democrat Ranko Ostojić, who chairs the parliamentary committee on home affairs and security, would give a statement on the matter during the day and request an extraordinary session of the committee.

More news on the Mate Radeljić scandal can be found in our Politics section.


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