ZAGREB, October 22, 2018 – The Osijek County Court has decided that former police IT specialist Franjo Varga and Agriculture Minister Tomislav Tolušić’s chauffeur Blaž Curić will stay in custody for two more months. Varga is suspected of creating fake text messages for former Dinamo football club executive Zdravko Mamić, while Curić is suspected of having tipped off Varga that he was under police investigation and was about to be arrested.
Court spokesman Miroslav Rožac said the two men would stay in custody for two more months because not all witnesses in the case had been interviewed and because there was a risk they could repeat the offence they were suspected of. Both men have appealed against the court’s decision.
Varga is suspected of having made, during a trial in which former Dinamo executive Zdravko Mamić and his co-defendants were charged with fraud, text messages of purported communication between former chief state prosecutor Dinko Cvitan and one of the judges in the trial, which was conducted before the Osijek County Court. The fake text messages were intended to show that Cvitan exerted pressure on the judge to make him deliver a guilty verdict against one of the defendants without any evidence.
According to prosecutors, Varga then gave the fake text correspondence to Mamić, who made it public at a news conference on 4 June 2018. Mamić’s defence attorney then asked that the announcement of the verdict be postponed due to Mamić’s revelation, but the court rejected the motion and announced its verdict on June 6, pronouncing all defendants in the case guilty as charged.
Before the verdict, which may be appealed against before the Supreme Court, was sent to the parties concerned in its written form, Varga made new fake text correspondence for Mamić to prove influence on the Supreme Court judges who were to decide on the appeal, and he was about to deliver it to Mamić to use in the coming appeals proceedings, but failed to do so because, according to prosecutors, he was tipped-off that police were investigating him, which is what prosecutors charge Blaž Curić with.
Curić was arrested on September 26 on suspicion that he had informed Varga by phone that he was under police surveillance and instructed him to delete all of his text messages, contacts and other phone content.
After this scandal broke out, media claimed that Varga’s services had also been used by former Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Tomislav Karamarko and current HDZ deputy president Milijan Brkić, who both denied the allegations, while Brkić confirmed to reporters that Curić was a close friend.