Ex-HDZ MP sentenced to community service for offering bribe to journalist

NEWS 25.11.2020 16:16
Source: / ilustracija

Former Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) member of Parliament Franjo Lucic has been sentenced to one year's community service after being found guilty of offering a bribe to a journalist, Osijek County Court ruled on Wednesday.

According to the indictment, on 26 July 2017, in the eastern city of Pozega, Lucic offered a financial reward to Drago Hedl, a journalist with the Telegram news website, to stop him from writing about his business and financial transactions and about his companies because the article would cause damage to him as a member of parliament and an entrepreneur.

In a telephone conversation, which Hedl recorded, Lucic offered to pay three times the amount the journalist would receive from his employer to stop the article being published.

The court said it has been found beyond any doubt that in offering Hedl a bribe so that he would not write an article about him, his companies and companies owned by his family, Lucic acted with direct intent.

The court said that the purpose of punishment can be served without a prison sentence because Lucic has no prior convictions, is relatively old and a father of four, so it decided to replace one year’s prison term with community service, with one day of imprisonment being replaced by two hours of work.

The prosecution had demanded an unconditional prison term for Lucic, and after the sentencing hearing they announced an appeal.