ZAGREB, December 31, 2019 – The president and government’s public relations offices on Tuesday rejected claims and accusations by a former adviser to the president, Mate Radeljić, regarding his dismissal.
“Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović does not have any need to further comment on the case regarding her former adviser Mate Radeljić. The president has on several occasions publicly reiterated that Mr Radeljić had never been requested by (security) services to resign and that they had discussed his departure several times. We note that the President herself selects and dismisses her advisers,” the president’s office said in response to Radeljić’s claims.
Radeljić accused Grabar-Kitarović of lying during a televised debate on the RTL channel on Monday evening when she said that she did not abuse the Security-Intelligence Agency (SOA). Radeljić claimed that the president had exploited SOA to threaten him and prevent him from his further activities. He noted that a few days after he had spoken with a SOA agent, Grabar-Kitarović personally informed him that Prime Minister Andrej Plenković had “asked her to replace him and that she had to agree because without the support of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), she would not be able to win the (re-) election.”
The government’s spokesman Marko Milić referred to Radeljić’s statement as yet another in a series of lies tossed about in the media, underscoring that the prime minister has never impacted the selection or replacement of the president’s advisers.
“The theory that ‘Plenković asked Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović to replace Mate Radeljić and that she had to agree to that because without the HDZ’s support she could not win the election’ is yet another in a series of lies tossed into the media by those who, by repeating these defamatory statements are acting as if they hope for Zoran Milanovic to get back into power. The president herself selects and dismisses her advisers. The prime minister has never impacted the selection or dismissal of the president’s advisers,” Milić told Hina when asked to comment on Radeljić’s statement.
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