Todorić to Wait for Extradition at London Home

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, April 23, 2018 – The founder of the ailing Agrokor food and retail conglomerate Ivica Todorić will remain at liberty with stricter precautionary measures until a final decision is made on his extradition to Croatia, London’s Westminster Magistrates Court Judge Emma Arbuthnot said on Monday.

Precautionary measures have been tightened in relation to those Todorić was subjected to until today. Instead of reporting to the relevant police station twice a week, Todorić will have to report every day and will not be allowed to leave his London residence after 9 pm.

Judge Arbuthnot on Monday approved Todorić’s extradition to Croatia, explaining that the claim that the proceedings against him in Croatia were politically motivated was a very weak argument. Todorić has seven days to appeal the decision.

Judge Arbuthnot rejected most of the arguments presented by Todorić’s defence against his extradition. I didn’t find any evidence of politically motivated persecution. There weren’t any politicians involved in Agrokor. One politician was a senior financial supervisor and another has filed charges against the accused and the company. I accept that the Agrokor case has a political dimension, seeing that it accounts for 15% of Croatia’s GDP, however, based on the evidence disclosed, he is not under political pressure, the judge said, explaining her decision.

Judge Arbuthnot rejected an argument by economic expert William John Bartlett, who is familiar with countries in transition, who had claimed that the Croatian government should have prevented Agrokor’s excessive expansion. Agrokor is an independent company founded by the defendant and he made the decisions, Judge Arbuthnot said.

Todorić’s defence argued that the proceedings against their client were politically motivated and that he would be in jail for an unnecessarily long time because the state prosecution did not have sufficiently strong evidence to uphold an indictment.

Croatia’s attorney Clare Montgomery said only a trial could prove that politics was not to blame for Agrokor’s downfall but rather the company’s owner, Todorić. Montgomery argued that the Croatian State Prosecutor’s Office had enough evidence for a criminal proceeding and that it was not at all important how long it would take for Todorić to be tried after he was extradited because there was firm evidence against him, as well as documents and witnesses that incriminated him.


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