Opposition MPs Say Sisak-Moslavina County Head Must Step Down

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Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Peđa Grbin said that two years ago Žinić “had police sent to newspaper offices, a year ago he organised a party amid coronavirus restrictions, and now we see that during his whole political career he has used his position to secure gain for himself and his family to which they have no right. There is at least one category in the Penal Code that defines his conduct,” Grbin told reporters.

He said media reports about the case should prompt prosecutorial authorities to action and if they failed to act, it would again be proof that they were under HDZ’s influence and were activated only when it suited the ruling party.

“Unlike PM Plenković, I don’t see any media hysteria in Žinić’s case, I see a man who acquired a property under a law that at the time was still not in force, referring to property located in what was an occupied area at that time,” said Grbin.

As for PM Plenković’s claims that he was cleaning up in his own party, Grbin mentioned former HDZ officials such as Lovro Kuščević, Božidar Kalmeta, Darko Puljašić and Dražen Barišić who had been involved in scandals and who still held posts in the party.

MP Sandra Benčić of the Green-Left Bloc said that she did not see the Žinić case as a case of media hysteria but as a classic, major HDZ scandal proving that Žinić was an authentic representative of the HDZ’s policy.

“He has a salary of HRK 17,000 and has lived in a not so small state-owned house without paying any rent. And when you hear about the way (his family) treated the former owners, I think it is clear what kind of a person he is,” Benčić said in reference to media reports that the house in question had been owned by a Serb family from Glina that fled the area before the 1995 Operation Storm and from whom the state bought the house.

Benčić expressed doubt that the HDZ leadership had not known that Žinić had been living in a state-owned house without paying rent, adding that he should at least step down as should all those who had made that possible for him.

MOST MP Nikola Grmoja said that he had the impression that somebody was leaking documents in this case.

“Žinić has become a burden for the HDZ and a scapegoat is being sought to answer for all the sins,” Grmoja said, noting that members of the Sisak-Moslavina County Assembly had warned that they were not allowed to ask Žinić questions at assembly sessions.

“Neither Plenković nor anyone else reacted to that but more information will be revealed about Žinić, especially if they have decided to get rid of him. Maybe he stays, but in that case I hope citizens will replace him in the election,” said Grmoja.

Stephen Bartulica of the Homeland Movement said he did not think media were giving undue attention to the case either, noting that it showed that Croatians were not equal before the law.

“I wonder at the extent to which the authorities justify certain actions while at the same time they call out everyone who dares criticise something, including the media whose job it is to investigate cases like this,” said Bartulica.

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