Karamarko Pressures Prime Minister to Dismiss SOA Director Lozančić

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Saga about Security Intelligence Agency director’s dismissal continues

Security Intelligence Agency (SOA) director Dragan Lozančić should have already been removed from office, said First Deputy Prime Minister and HDZ president Tomislav Karamarko yesterday. “Every reasonable period for consideration is now over. He should have already been dismissed. I have talked about it with Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković and I think we are at the end of this process”, said Karamarko. “For us, it is enough that the president has lost her confidence in Lozančić. The prime minister took his time to decide, but the time is running out”, warned Karamarko. Lozančić’s formal dismissal requires support of both the president and the prime minister, report tportal.hr and Jutarnji List on February 26, 2016.

Parliamentary Committee on Interior Affairs and National Security held a meeting yesterday to review the annual report by Security Intelligence Agency about its activities. “Were there any violations of the law which the president has mentioned in her dismissal”, asked one member of the Committee which met behind closed doors for three hours. The question was addressed to the SOA director Lozančić. Reportedly, that was the only question which was directly related to Lozančić’s alleged responsibility which was the reason why President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović signed his dismissal, adding that she “does not have confidence in him”.

“No”, answered Lozančić. There were no details and no discussion about the reasons why the president wants to dismiss him. However, Lozančić’s answer was not enough for committee members to support his report. Committee Chairman Ranko Ostojić (SDP) stated shortly: “The Committee did not accept the SOA report. Six MPs voted in favour, six against, and one abstained.” Unofficially, the MP who abstained was Ines Strenja-Linić (MOST). Chairman Ostojić said he believed that SOA did its job well. “The report which has been presented confirms it. I believe that this report should have been supported.”

Asked by reporters whether SDP would initiate the establishment of special inquiry commission, Ostojić said that “further moves depend on events that will happen. Inquiry commission is one option. I think that the public should know why Mr. Lozančić has to go.” The fact that SOA report was not adopted in Parliament is not a reason for dismissal of the director and does not formally affect Lozančić’s status.

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