ZAGREB, December 22, 2018 – Mate Radeljić, whom President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has relieved of his duties as domestic policy adviser, released a statement on his dismissal on Friday, saying 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 he wanted to inform the public about the circumstances that led to his dismissal and explain why he would not resign, adding that he was informed of the decision on his dismissal by Davor Franić, the chief of staff of SOA head Daniel Markić, in a Zagreb cafe on December 5.
Radeljić said Franić told him that Markić had instructed him to talk to him at the president’s request, telling him that the president was renewing her office and that he would no longer serve as her adviser.
According to Radeljić, Franić said he had to let him know that the Security and Intelligence Agency “will protect the president in every way from my possible negative activity after leaving her office and that he was ready, if so instructed, to run into me with a car.”
Radeljić said he immediately called the president and described what Franić had told him. “She was quiet for a few seconds and then said she didn’t know what this was about and that she would immediately call… Markić.”
Radeljić said Franić then told him they could wait to see if Markić would call him after the president called Markić, to see if he should “abort the mission.” He said Markić did not call Franić and that they parted.
Radeljić went on to say that the president summoned him for a talk on December 10 and that she repeated what Franić had told him, “that she was renewing her office and I no longer fit into her plans because I was an obstacle in the relations with the prime minister.”
Radeljić said he told the president that was her prerogative but that it was totally unfair that she informed him of her decision through a Security and Intelligence Agency staffer. He added the president said she had nothing to do with it and quoted her as saying that “Franić was stupid to meet me in a cafe.”
Radeljić said he decided then that he would not resign because he would not accept the fact that his dismissal was announced to him by a senior intelligence officer and not the person who had appointed him.
Radeljić said the president was entitled to change her advisers as well as “her political direction” but that the way in which he was informed of her decision “doesn’t do her honour.”
More news on the Croatian president can be found in our Politics section.