Zagreb Mayor Pleads “Not Guilty”

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, October 11, 2018 – Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić and his co-defendants in a case dubbed Agram entered pleas of not guilty at the start of a trial before the Zagreb County Court on Thursday. “Not guilty,” Bandić told the court.

The same plea was entered by Zagrebački Holding utility conglomerate former CEO Slobodan Ljubičić, CIOS waste management company owner Petar Pripuz, Zagreb Electric Trams former director Ivan Tolić, Čistoća waste management company director Miljenko Benko, deputy head of the City Office for Property and Legal Issues Ines Bravić, the head of the legal department in the City Office for Property and Legal Issues, Koraljka Rožanković Uremović, Bamgrad Project construction company director Branko Mihaljević, former head of the mayor’s expert team Vidoje Bulum, Bandić’s chief of staff Miro Laco, and the secretary general of Zagreb’s Sports Alliance, Zdenko Antunović.

Before the start of the trial, two co-defendants reached a plea bargain with the prosecution and they were given suspended sentences.

Mayor Bandić and 13 co-defendants, including his associates and business partners in municipal companies, are standing trial for embezzling at least 25 million kuna (3.3 million euro). They are accused of abuse of office, influence peddling, tax evasion, customs fraud, obstruction of evidence, forging official or business documents, and inciting others to commit perjury.

Bandić is charged with making illegal transactions with the CIOS waste management company, owned by Petar Pripuz, who is also among those accused. He is also charged with failure to pay taxes on donations received after the 2010 elections in which he ran for president.

Bandić is also standing another trial in a case dubbed “public stands” on charges of enabling a nongovernmental association to use public stands for collecting signatures for a referendum petition in a non-transparent manner, and as such, of allegedly defrauding the city budget of approximately 40,500 euro. Bandić is charged, together with Zagreb City official Ivica Lovrić and the director of Zagreb Markets, Zdenka Palac, with enabling the association “In the Name of the Family” to use stands for collecting signatures for a referendum free of charge.


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