The ex Agrokor boss criticises the behaviour of Croatia’s prosecution.
In lieu of his potentially impending extradition back to Croatia from the British capital should the appeal(s) of his team of lawyers fail, Ivica Todorić has naturally got a lot on his mind. With the possibility of Remetinec prison being on the cards, it’s hardly the life the former Agrokor boss envisioned for himself as little as eighteen months ago, let alone before that, when his photo graced the glossy pages of Forbes magazine, and his pretty quiet life of absolute luxury was envied by all.
In light of a potentially very unpleasant near future awaiting Todorić in Zagreb, he has taken to his main means of communication with the masses, his blog, to express his feelings on the state of prosecution in the Republic of Croatia.
We bring you Todoric’s latest blog post translated into English in full below:
”The state attorney conducts an investigation to determine whether or not there is a sufficient degree of grounded suspicion that a person has committed a criminal offense, and the investigation ends when the state of affairs is sufficiently clarified to bring forward an indictment, or to suspend the proceedings.
Today, in Croatia, for the first time, we’ve got a situation where the prosecution will publicly announce that in the future, they “will certainly bring an indictment”, long before the end of the investigation.
With such behaviour, the credibility of the state attorney’s office is collapsing.
In March 2018, for the first time in Croatian jurisprudence, the prosecution stated that it would definitely file an indictment against me and all of the co-defendants in the case, even though the investigation was not near its end, and that they’ll carry out the basic evidence of serious financial and accounting expertise, no warrant was issued for its execution, it still hasn’t been. I’d like to point out that the prosecution didn’t announce an indictment against me alone, which the prosecutor tried to justify through the needs of the extradition procedure, but also against all the people involved in the investigation.
Indeed, the prosecution expressed its satisfaction with the alleged quality of the evidence gathered, which allows it to bring indictments according to its intent as soon as the formal conditions are met. Obviously, conducting the investigation in DORH is a formality because the decision to raise an indictment against me was taken much earlier on.
Such behaviour of the prosecution at the stage of the investigation in which the key evidence has not yet been conducted speaks of two things – that the prosecution knows the outcome of the investigation even though it’s not yet been completed, and that the decision on the indictment of myself and the other victims is not based on the evidence that will be collected, but exclusively on the pre-deciding of the prosecutor’s office, and based on the meeting of the demands of political commanders [those in politically powerful positions who have issued orders to do so].
The public announcement of arrests, investigations, indictments and judgments is a completely unusual act and suggests that the criminal proceedings against me aren’t being led to determine whether or not there’s any evidence to suggest my alleged unlawful conduct, but to meet the formal requirements that precede the raising of indictments and the satisfying of political interests. How can we, in such a situation, talk about the constitutional guarantees of a fair trial? How can we talk about the presumption of innocence that guarantees that nobody is guilty until proven so in a fair trial? This is absolutely contrary to the law of the European Union.
Can we talk about the rule of law in such a situation?
With the same practice of prejudicing certain facts related to the conduct of the investigation, unfortunately, the newly appointed Chief Prosecutor of the Republic of Croatia, Dražen Jelenić, who on the first day of his mandate on the 24th of April 2018, in a Direkt emission, stated that the investigation would be completed within a 2,3,4 month period, and that a dozen witnesses were to be questioned within that time, and that the expert financial analysis which hasn’t yet begun would be completed, in order to fulfill the promise to the London court to bring forward the indictment.
Investigations, evidence, and expert testimony are obviously just terms without any real content. The Chief State Attorney is completely irrelevant as will be the outcome of the expertise which will, namely, only just be done. He knows the outcome in advance. It seems that the prosecution has already made its decision!? Since the prosecution doesn’t behave in such a way otherwise, it’s obvious that it’s not their own independent decision, but that decision is primarily a result of political pressure and dictation.
In this way, the prosecution remains solely at service to the interests of high-ranking people in politics, and as a tool for achieving the financial interests of the few.”
Ivica Todorić’s blog translated in full from ivicatodoric.hr