As tportal writes on the 13th of March, 2019, Tomislav Horvatinčić has been found guilty of causing a maritime accident that killed an Italian couple, Francesco and Mariella Salpietro, back in August 2011. He was sentenced to four years and ten months in prison for the act, and he is also forbidden to own a driving license for five years, if the verdict becomes final he will also have to dip into his infamously deep pockets and pay 190,000 kuna in court costs.
Otherwise, the Zagreb entrepreneur and serial traffic ”accident” participant Tomislav Horvatinčić did not appear at the Šibenik court.
The verdict was handed over to Tomislav Horvatinčić by the trial chamber presided over by Judge Ivan Jurišić after two previous judgments – the first which convicted him, and the second which actually acquitted him for his claim of ”syncope”, which saw a backlash of astronomic proportions unleashed upon Judge Maja Šupe. Tomislav Horvatinčić still has the right to appeal this verdict within fifteen days, whether or not he sees it as worth it at this point however, is another matter.
Judge Jurišić explained in the explanation of the verdict that Tomislav Horvatinčić did not properly observe his surroundings when he was driving the boat, thus failing to see the sailboat operated by the Salpietro couple who lost their lives owing to the incident. The judge described the vessel’s erratic movements and then went on to read the details of the terrible injuries suffered by the Salpietro couple which resulted in their deaths, Večernji list reports.
The judge stated that, among other things, it has been disputed that the disgraced Zagreb entrepreneur mentioned his so-called ”syncope” to a doctor a couple of days after the tragic incident. The vessel’s movements after the incident also suggest that Tomislav Horvatinčić was conscious and functioning normally after the incident, meaning that he was fully aware and in control of his actions.
The Zagreb tycoon didn’t even notice the boat which was being operated by the Salpietro couple. ”That’s Horvatinčić’s failure alone,” the judge said in his explanation, adding that Tomislav Horvatinčić ran into the boat at full speed and was aware that he could very easily harm or endanger others.
The mitigating circumstances when it comes to the level of punishment for the act are the older age and the health situation of Tomislav Horvatinčić, but it doesn’t stand in his favour that he has several such ”accidents” under his belt.
Horvatinčić’s lawyer, Veljko Miljević, appeared today in court, but as stated, Horvatinčić was nowhere to be seen. Asked by journalists whether Horvatinčić would come in person to hear the verdict, he simply said: ”Look in there and you’ll see.”
”It’s not obligatory for him to come. You could have noticed that he’s not been in the best state of health recently, and in court he said that he had delayed some surgery twice for the trial so that this procedure could take place as quickly and as efficiently as possible,” said Miljević in a clear attempt to paint a more favourable picture of his client, announcing that an appeal would be lodged when he receives a written version of the verdict.
Speaking exclusively to Total Croatia News, Federico Salpietro, the son of the Italian couple who lost their lives at the hands of Tomislav Horvatinčić’s ”syncope at sea”, said:
”For about 8 years, we’ve been forced to live with frequent flashbacks of the saddest event that has happened in our lives due to this extremely long trial. For about 8 years, we have been outraged by an unbelievable defense strategy which since the beginning we perceived as a strong offensive strategy and as psychological violence. For about 8 years, we have had to deal with different verdicts, a lot of court hearings, several technical and medical experts’ reports, uncountable interviews with international newspapers, official investigations requested by the Croatian, Italian and European parliaments, multiple meetings and phonecalls with politicians, embassies and consulates and an indefinite number of talks with our lawyers. For about 8 years, we have been at the forefront of the power of lies against the priceless importance of dignity and humanity. For about 8 years we have been feeling alone in the middle of the Adriatic sea, where our mum and dad died that Tuesday morning.
After tomorrow’s verdict, we hope to finally find a safe dock. We hope this will lead us into a brighter future with much more humanity. We seek for the truth to come out. We hope Croatia can become a safer place.
Thanks to all the people who showed their professionality in working to this case and to the others who spent kind words for us and had a positive attitude throughout these [seemingly] endless years.”
The Salpietro family emphasised that they also want to thank the journalists who have helped them through this impossibly difficult time, and that they wish to come back to Croatia, a country they once adored, soon.
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