ZAGREB, May 8, 2019 – The chairman of the parliamentary committee on home affairs and national security, Ranko Ostojić of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), said on Wednesday that he would ask state agencies for their position on alleged plans by former police IT specialist Franjo Varga, a suspect in the fake text messages affair, to monitor Interior Minister Davor Božinović’s emails.
Ostojić said that he was surprised that the president and the prime minister did not intend to call a session of the National Security Council despite an abundance of information on possible threats to state institutions.
Noting that he would request an opinion of the relevant state services, Ostojić said: “Ongoing proceedings in the fake text messages affair are confidential and yet we have information leaks in some weeklies and dailies.”
Ostojić said that the committee would discuss the matter once the requested information was obtained but noted that he needed the consent of a part of the committee on home affairs and national security to call a thematic session on the fake texts affair.
“The president and the prime minister say that they have no information on what is going on. That’s security for you, hearing the prime minister, who is in charge of all services that need to report to him, say that he has no information. It could be that I’m informed better than the prime minister. This definitely deserves a serious session and serious answers,” said Ostojić. He added that he believed the current developments were due to infighting in the ruling HDZ party.
Ostojić also expressed dissatisfaction with cooperation with Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović, saying that he had not attended any of the committee’s sessions. “That says enough about his attitude to the parliamentary body in charge of overseeing the police’s work,” he said.
Prosecutors contend that Franjo Varga created fake text messages, including for former football mogul Zdravko Mamić, and that last September Blaž Curić, a close friend of Deputy Parliament Speaker and HDZ vice-president Milijan Brkić, warned Varga that he was under investigation.
The Nacional weekly, which has been following the fake texts scandal for months, said in its latest issue that in March 2018, Varga’s co-defendant Curić, asked Varga to monitor Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović’s emails, which Varga reportedly refused to do.
Police said recently they had brought charges against Brkić, his brother Jozo Brkić, Varga and Curić, for committing cybernetic offences against several persons.
The police allegedly found out about computer hacking by examining the computers and documents seized in the case against Varga and Curić.
The prosecutorial authorities have said that the investigation is confidential for the sake of protection of the private lives of the women whose computer systems were hacked.
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