Todoric and Karamarko testify in court about the fake text messages affair

NEWS 10.11.2020 19:54
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Source: N1

Former owner of Croatia's largest company Agrokor, Ivica Todoric, and the former leader of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party, Tomislav Karamarko, took the stand to testify on Tuesday in the trial over falsified text messages prosecutors. The defendants in the case are former police IT expert, Franjo Varga, and Blaz Curic, former chauffeur of the former HDZ agriculture minister Tomislav Tolusic.

The former owner of the Agrokor conglomerate said that he thought that the fake text messages he received were from the Prime Minister and Martina Dalic while Karmarko said that his relationship with Varga started with his suspicion of election fraud at the end of 2015.

Varga is on trial for obstruction of justice in extradition proceedings against Todoric, who fled to Great Britain during an investigation into him. In an effort to show that the proceedings against Todoric were politically motivated, Varga created text messages of purported communication between Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, then economy minister Martina Dalic and several senior Agrokor officials.

During his testimony at Osijek County Court on Tuesday, Todoric said that he received the largest part of the contentious documents in 2017 from “Ivica” whose surname he didn’t know except that he was from Velika Gorica. He said that he did not know who had sent him the fake messages and that he found out more about it later in media reports.

Asked whether he had questioned “Ivica” where he had obtained the material, Todoric said that he could not remember but that he was “afraid of who was behind it all.” He confirmed that he published the documents on his blog but only after the DORH state prosecution accused him of falsifying the documents and after they were published in the Jutarnji List daily.

Karamarko claimed that he met Varga in an effort to investigate alleged election fraud in 2015.

The former HDZ leader testified that at the end of 2016 two of his friends told him they knew a man who could prove that the parliamentary election in November 2015 had been rigged, as he himself had previously claimed.

As I had suspected that votes for the HDZ at that election had been stolen, I wanted to obtain information and some meaningful explanation as to how that could have happened, so I met Varga, who, I later found out, was an IT expert at the Interior Ministry, said Karamarko.

Karamarko claimed that Varga did not deliver any information or documents to him related to the 2015 election and that he never delivered any material or screen shots of anyone’s communication.

After he was presented with evidence that Varga had sent him text messages between Vlado Galic and Ivan Anusic and people in the Apis company that processes election results, Karamarko said that that could be possible, however, he did not remember that. Karamarko said that that was probably irrelevant, because if he had obtained any proof of election fraud, he certainly would have used it.

Karamarko confirmed that Varga had asked him to be put in contact with Zdravko Mamic because Mamic was unhappy with the fact that the person who sprayed a swastika on the pitch at Split’s Poljud stadium had not been identified yet.

After he asked Mamic if he was interested in finding out more about that because that was why Varga had asked for Mamic’s number, and after Mamic agreed, Karamarko gave Varga “Mamic’s number or at least the number of one of his contacts”.

Answering a question by the prosecution, Karamarko claimed that Varga had never mentioned that he had any knowledge or material related to the trial against Zdravko Mamic in Osijek or the Agrokor case.

The trial is scheduled to continue on December 8.