Thanks to Emergency Surgery, Zagreb Mayor Delays Indictment

Total Croatia News

Mayor Milan Bandić underwent hernia surgery, which meant that his court hearing had to be postponed. Again.

After an emergency surgery of a hernia last night, Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić was not able to attend this morning’s hearing at the Zagreb County Court, where an indictment against him was supposed to be confirmed, reports on May 2, 2017.

Although the defendant is not obliged to attend the hearing, and Bandić has not appeared personally at previous hearings, except while he was kept on remand, today his attorneys tellingly insisted that he had to be personally present.

Postponement of court hearings is nothing new when it comes to proceedings against Bandić.

In this particular case, Bandić is accused that he, together with his associate Ivica Lovrić and the director of “Zagreb Markets” Zdenka Palac, illegally provided help get the equivalent of 308,000 kuna to the conservative association “U Ime Obitelji”, by allowing them free use of city-owned stands which they used to collect signatures for a referendum initiative.

The first indictment in the case was dismissed by the court in July 2015, but the Supreme Court in May 2016 accepted the prosecutors’ appeal.

Preparatory hearings have been postponed several times already. Last August, the reason was the fact that one of the defendants did not receive the court summons. In other postponed hearings, reasons were various, from the alleged illness of Ivica Lovrić (although he was reportedly well enough to appear at his job at the same time), to Bandić’s lawyers Čedo Prodanovic and Jadranka Sloković stating they no longer wanted to represent their client.

Later, Bandić received an ex officio attorney who was granted an eight-day deadline for defense preparation, but he received the file from the court too late and asked for a new postponement. Then Bandić’s defense demanded the exemption of the presiding judge, and now the reason is emergency surgery on a hernia which Bandić explained that he got on Monday while he was lifting a heavy pot of beans in preparation for the International Workers’ Day celebrations.

In the other case against Bandić, the so-called “Agram” affair, Bandić’s court hearings are also being constantly delayed.


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