Pick for Chief State Prosecutor Gets Mostly Positive Reviews

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ZAGREB, April 17, 2018 – Commenting on the government’s decision to nominate Deputy Chief State Prosecutor Dražen Jelenić as the new Chief State Prosecutor, a member of the Social Democratic Party’s (SDP) presidency Peđa Grbin said that Jelenić was a “good candidate.”

“Dražen Jelenić is a good candidate who has worked in the Chief State Prosecutor’s Office for a quarter of a century and has passed through all levels of work and decision making, and I am confident that he will be able to responsibly carry out the duties of the chief state prosecutor,” Grbin said.

Asked if the SDP would vote in favour of Jelenić, Grbin said that “SDP and the entire public heard about this proposal only this morning and that the party’s committees would define their position on how to vote on that proposal.” He added, however, that he and the colleagues he had spoken to, who deal with the judiciary, have a very high opinion of Jelenić.

The leader of the Živi Zid party Ivan Vilibor Sinčić said he would not support Jelenić because he considered that it is “necessary to break free from the continuity that isn’t giving any results.” “The government’s proposal shows that it doesn’t have the strength nor will for a showdown with corruption and organised crime, particularly white collar crimes. It is obvious that Croatia is a very corrupt country, according to both Eurostat and public perception, which obviously doesn’t worry Prime Minister Plenković one bit,” Sinčić said.

“Živi Zid advocates that a qualified, young person be appointed who is not dependent on political structures and who has not had an opportunity to work in these structures, someone like the former head of the Conflict of Interest Commission Dalija Orešković. We need someone of that competence,” Sinčić added.

The head of the MOST party Božo Petrov said that it seems Jelenić is an experienced professional. “Let’s hope that the Chief State Prosecutor’s Office will finally head forward. The new chief state prosecutor has to prove he deserves the trust of Croatian citizens and break the practice according to which the state prosecutor’s office works to service the ruling party,” Petrov said.

He recalled that, according to the law, the procedure to appoint a new chief state prosecutor should have commenced three months ago. “We are now once again adopting a decision at the eleventh hour. Today the government made the proposal to nominate a candidate and in two days it will be put before the Justice Committee which is expected to voice its opinion. On the same day, it will be sent to parliament for a debate and it will be put to the vote as early as on Friday,” Petrov said.


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