Justice minister: Media information about private texts unauthorised

NEWS 29.01.2023 12:07

Justice Minister Ivan Malenica said on Saturday the information published in the media about texts about a contentious software exchanged between former state officials Gabrijela Zalac and Josipa Rimac was unauthorised as that part of the criminal procedure in question was not public.

“The prime minister was not included either in the investigation or the indictment nor did he participate in the direct correspondence with Zalac and Rimac about the procurement of the software,” Malenica told the public broadcaster when asked to comment on claims by the opposition SDP and Bridge parties that the State Attorney’s Office should investigate Prime Minister Andrej Plenković’s role in said correspondence.

In this case, it’s irrelevant who the AP mentioned in the texts is, Malenica said, adding that no one knows the content of private communication between two persons.

He said the software in question was presented to the government after the procurement contract was signed and that the prime minister communicated with his ministers about important matters.

Malenica said the indictment, in this case, was not upheld yet and that the opposition was using “initials and information to create a fake topic to try and shift the focus from its pro-Russian policy to something that, in my opinion, is false.”

Asked if that “third person” should be questioned, too, he said the investigation, in this case, was conducted by the relevant bodies, including the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, and that “it’s up to them to determine who are the persons that should be questioned in this part of the proceedings, so I’d rather not qualify certain unauthorised information in the media.”

Malenica said this was not the first time that information was being leaked which, he added, impacts the equity of a trial and privacy, while also bringing into question the purpose of a criminal procedure.

Experts should discuss if there is a need to amend the law, while on the other hand, the media have the right to report on a criminal procedure and the public to know certain information from court proceedings, the minister said.

Asked if it has ever been established who has leaked confidential documents and evidence, he said the question should be put to the police.


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