Osijek businessman and local anti-corruption police officer indicted for bribery

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A 62-year-old police officer from Osijek has been indicted for disclosing to businessman, Drago Tadic, also indicted in this case, information from secret police operations in exchange for construction material, household appliances, and a job for a member of his family.

“Without disclosing the indictees’ identity,” state news platform Hina said, “the Office for Suppression of Corruption and Organised Crime (Uskok) said that they were charged with abuse of office and authority, incitement to abuse of office and authority and with giving and taking of bribes.”

It is unclear how Hina confirmed the identity of indictees.

Uskok says that as a member of the Police National Office for Suppression of Corruption and Organised Crime (PNUSKOK) in Osijek, in the period from June 2016 to 20 November 2020 police officer Vlado L., acting on Tadic’s request and of his own free will, checked if Tadic and persons he was interested in were under investigation and for what reason.

He regularly reported to the 62-year-old Osijek businessman about the results of his inquiries, and on one occasion checked for him a phone number and a person to establish if they maintained contact with other persons.

Uskok alleges that Vlado L. also provided Tadic with official documents on PNUSKOK’s preliminary probes regarding his company. In exchange for that, Tadic bought him construction material and a household appliance and hired a member of the police officer’s family.

In 2017 Tadic was given a final sentence of two years in prison for attempting to bribe unidentified judges of the Supreme Court to ensure a reversal of the sentencing verdict for politician Branimir Glavas for wartime crimes against Serb civilians in Osijek in two separate war crimes cases. Before Tadic was sentenced in that case, his wife admitted to the crime in a plea bargain, as did MP Ivan Drmic from Glavas’ party HDSSB, and two other indictees.

Because of that sentence Tadic in 2018 fled the country for Bosnia and Herzegovina, after which a warrant for his arrest was issued. In the meantime, he served the sentence in Bosnia and Herzegovina and used the possibility envisaged by BiH law to exchange his sentence for a fine. Meanwhile a Croatian court decided that he should be placed in custody on charges that he defrauded the Osijek-Koteks company, which he headed, of 15.7 million kuna.

He was on trial also in 2014 due to an embezzlement case worth millions of kuna, and was sentenced pending appeal to one year in prison, which was later changed to community service. Tadic was arrested in September 2020 on the border between BiH and Croatia based on an arrest warrant issued after the decision to remand him in custody was made because he failed to appear before the court.

He was last placed in custody in June 2021 on the suspicion that he took money to Osijek judges so they would favour former Dinamo football club boss Zdravko Mamic and his brother Zoran in a corruption case involving the club. He was released after posting 500,000 kuna bail.

Media outlets in 2021 published a recording of Tadic admitting that as a witness he lied in the trial of former HDZ transport minister Bozidar Kalmeta to help him in exchange for his acquittal in the case in which he was suspected of siphoning money from the company he ran. Tadic later said that his statement had been taken out of context.