Member of Parliament Recorded Trying to Bribe Journalist

Total Croatia News

Franjo Lucić is a prominent HDZ member.

Member of Parliament and high-ranking HDZ’ official Franjo Lucić offered a bribe to Drago Hedl, a journalist writing for Telegram, asking him not to write about his controversial businesses and various bankrupt companies which used to be owned by him. Lucić told the reporter in a phone conversation that he was willing to pay three times as much as he would get from the media outlet, reports Telegram on 27 July 2017.

He was very explicit in his offer, leaving no doubt as to what he was thinking. He repeated two times, “What you get from the editors, I will give you three times as much. If you get a thousand, I will give you three thousand,” said Lucić.

Heid recorded Lucić’s phone call.

At the time of Lucić’s call, on Wednesday, 26 July, at 11.44 am, Hedl was in Požega and was completing the analysis of extensive documentation related to Lucić’s businesses. He was copying parts of the documentation from a court dispute filed by Podravska Banka against Lucić. Podravska Banka – to which Lucić owed about 14 million kuna – was convinced that the sale of Lucić’s house to his own children was fictitious and done in order for Lucić to protect his family home because he had offered it as collateral to the bank for his loan.

The journalist, who has been investigating all aspects of Lucić’s businesses for two weeks, has been trying to agree on an interview with the controversial entrepreneur and the chief HDZ man in Požega-Slavonia County. In a brief phone conversation last Friday, Lucić sought to avoid meeting the Telegram journalist, wondering why his businesses would be an interesting topic. Still, he agreed to a meeting in Pleternica (a small town near Požega, where Lucić lives), on Monday, 24 July.

But on Sunday evening, Lucić sent a text message explaining that he must come to a meeting in Zagreb on Monday. He asked Hedl to call him in a few days. Since it was important for Hedl to hear Lucić’s explanation – for, among other things, why he was misusing loans for the development of small entrepreneurship and employment of Croatian war veterans and why, instead of developing wood processing industry, he started with the construction of apartments on the Adriatic coast – the journalist asked HDZ spokesperson to help him get in touch with Lucić. He received a reply that Lucić was not responding to the party’s messages.

However, Lucić called Hedl on Wednesday, offered him a bribe in exchange for not writing about him and again avoided a meeting. He told the journalist that he was tired and explained why it was not in his interest to have anything written about his businesses. He said he had a problem with two banks, but that he had come to an agreement with one of them, while the discussions with the other were in the final phase. An article could harm his relationship with the bank.

Telegram says it will soon publish an article on numerous irregularities done by Lucić in his companies, as well as documents which will show how his companies were established and why they collapsed. The document also reportedly show that he has received vast amounts of money from the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development and that his companies were selling machines to each other for unrealistically high prices.

In addition to being a Member of Parliament and president of HDZ’s branch in Požega-Slavonia County, Lucić is a member of the HDZ National Council, composed of the most prominent officials of the ruling party, led by HDZ president and current Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.

Translated from Telegram.


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