Ex-HDZ Treasurer Says He Did Everything According to Sanader’s Instructions

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, March 10, 2020 – Presenting his defence in the Fimi Media trial on Tuesday, a former customs administration director and former treasurer of the Croatian Democratic Party (HDZ), Mladen Barišić claimed that everything he did was according to the party leader Ivo Sanader’s instructions.

Barišić was presenting his defence in the trial against him for his role in the Fimi Media scandal in which money was siphoned from state institutions through the Fimi Media marketing agency.

“Everything I did as the party’s treasurer was done in accordance and agreement with the party’s leader. Ivo Sanader was authoritarian and did not allow any self-will and I did what I was instructed to do. I executed the tasks assigned obediently, and believed that I was working for the benefit of the party,” Barišić said and added that all financial decisions could not be made by anyone but Sanader.

Barišić added that on one occasion in the presence of former HDZ officials Luka Bebić, Jadranka Kosor and Ivan Jarnjak, Sanader referred to Barišić as “his special officer and right hand man.” The defendant told Zagreb County Court that he was surprised that certain individuals in the HDZ “who received extra money, for instance, some women who received allowances for clothing,” were now accusing him.

The retrial of the case related to the siphoning of about 70 million kuna (almost €10 million) from state institutions and companies through Fimi Media, which came to be known as a byword for corruption in Croatian politics, was formally commented at the end of January.

From the very beginning Sanader has rejected all the accusations and has claimed that he is the victim of a trumped up political process that his successor Jadranka Kosor and the then chief state prosecutor, Mladen Bajić, launched against him.

Other defendants in addition to Barišić and who are also standing trial in this case, apart from Sanader, who was previously convicted and sentenced to nine years in prison, and the HDZ which was fined HRK 5 million, are former party chief accountant Branka Pavošević, and former party and government spokesman in Sanader’s cabinet, Ratko Maček.

The owner of the Fimi Media agency, Nevenka Jurak, who was also a defendant in this case, passed away in November 2019 and the charges against her were suspended.

More news about the Sanader case can be found in the Politics section.


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