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Croatia: Lawmaker indicted for corruption

Croatia: Lawmaker indicted for corruption

A Croatian ruling party lawmaker was indicted Wednesday for abusing his office in 2004 while serving as defense minister, becoming the most senior official to be charged for corruption.
In the indictment, prosecutors said Berislav Roncevic and an aide allegedly made an illegal, direct purchase of military trucks that cost the government 10.2 million kuna (⁈llion) more than a legally required tender would have.
Roncevic has denied any wrongdoing.
Parliament last week lifted his immunity from prosecution. If convicted, he could be jailed for up to 10 years.
The opposition claims that the episode is an example of the ruling party's involvement in graft.
The EU has repeatedly warned Croatia to uproot widespread corruption if it wants to join the bloc.
The new government, led by Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, appears to be acting on those warnings. Several corruption cases have been opened lately, targeting managers, professors and state privatization agency's chiefs.
Roncevic and his aide, Ivo Bacic, are suspected of annulling an international tender to buy 76 trucks for the military because the total price offered by bidders was too high.
The indictment said the two later in 2004 approved out-of-tender purchase of 39 trucks from a Zagreb-based company, "even though there were much more favorable offers" sent for the annulled tender. The two, therefore, benefited the company by falsely claiming that its offer was the best one, the indictment said.
The prosecutors did not say whether Roncevic himself profited from the deal.


Updated : 2021-04-11 10:18 GMT+08:00