ZAGREB, March 18, 2019 – The trial of Franjo Varga, a former IT specialist at the Ministry of the Interior, and Blaž Curić, a former driver at the Ministry of Agriculture, for obstruction of evidence in the so-called “fake text messages” scandal could start in about two months, Osijek County Court spokesman Miroslav Rožac told the press after the indictment against the two was upheld on Monday.
Rožac said that the ruling upholding the indictment was not subject to appeal and that the two accused would be released from investigative custody because the maximum six-month time limit for holding suspects in investigative detention had run out.
Asked by the press when the trial would start, Rožac said that that could happen “in about two months”, after the ruling suspending investigative custody becomes final after the appeal process.
Defence lawyer Mario Poljak said that Varga and Curić would be released on Monday.
The USKOK anti-corruption office alleges that Varga created fake text messages “between senior state officials and other persons in Croatia” to obstruct evidence in the trial of former football mogul Zdravko Mamić before the Osijek County Court and in the extradition trial of the former owner of the Agrokor food and retail conglomerate Ivica Todorić before a court in London.
According to the prosecution, the false correspondence was meant to show that certain state officials agreed unwarranted prosecution of the persons in question and that certain judicial officials were exerting pressure on other judicial officials to convict those people without evidence.
Curić allegedly provided Varga with information such as telephone numbers for state officials and other persons.
More news about the fake taxt messages scandal can be found in the Politics section.