The controversial singer rejected claims that he received half a million euros from HDZ not to perform at pre-election rallies.
Controversial singer Marko Perković Thompson testified today at the Zagreb County Court at the trial of former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader in the so-called Fimi Media case. He came to the today’s hearing after being warned he would be brought there by the police if he did not show up, reports Index.hr on September 5, 2017.
Thompson and Sanader warmly greeted each other in the courtroom. Perković asked Sanader about his health, and Sanader replied it was okay.
Thompson said that, in 2007, Sanader called him and asked if he would support the coalition of HDZ and other parties. “I stated that I would be ready to help them. We discussed this at the HDZ headquarters,” he said.
He was then asked about what kind of support he gave. “There was no discussion about any financial reimbursement. We did not talk about it, nor did I insist on that. Sanader knew that I insisted on the project of building a church at Čavoglave. He asked me if he could do anything. They gave me about 50,000 kunas. I received the money from Sanader that day and took it to the priest. There were no discussions about paying for my performances. I did not sing in the campaign, for HDZ or anyone else,” he said.
Asked how many times he met with Barišić, Perković said he did not know him, although he admitted he had meetings at the Customs Administration, where Barišić was the director at the time. “There were five to six people there, probably Barišić as well, but I did not know him. I never saw him,” he said.
Barišić replied to the Perković’s testimony. “This testimony is so fake. It is true that he was at the Customs Administration. Everything else has no connection with the subject. The whole statement is false,” said Barišić. “He was in my office on multiple occasions, so the statement he did not know me is a lie,” concluded Barišić.
In the Fimi Media case, the prosecution claims that the singer, on Sanader’s orders, received money from the party’s illegal funds in order not to sing for any other party. According to speculations, HDZ feared that Thompson would sing at election events of more right-wing political parties, which could cost HDZ some votes.
In the first trial in this case, Thompson also dismissed claims in the court that he had received the cash from Barišić, who later testified that Thompson was paid more than half a million euros on Sanader’s request. “Nobody gave me or offered me the money. It was a shock when I heard Mr Barišić’s statement,” Thompson testified, admitting that he visited the Customs Administration headquarters, but just to meet with fans before a major concert. He also acknowledged that shortly after that he bought a land at the Remete district in Zagreb.
Barišić said in his statement that it was agreed with Thompson he should receive a maximum of 200,000 euros from the illegal party funds to purchase the land, but Thompson later came and demanded 515,000 euros, which was paid to him.
In addition to former Prime Minister Sanader and Barišić, the defendants in this case are HDZ, as the first political party accused of corruption, former HDZ treasurer Branka Pavošević, and former spokesman for Sanader’s government and HDZ Ratko Maček. This is the second trial in the case after the first was annulled.
Translated from Index.hr.