PM Andrej Plenkovic has again denied that the most recently published text messages between his associates and Hrvatske Sume ex-CEO Krunoslav Jakupcic have anything to do with him, describing it all as "ridiculous" and noting that of all the messages, only those of his close associates were picked.
The Nacional weekly has published a new transcript of text messages, which this time concern Josip Jelic, a former advisor to the ruling HDZ party, in which “the Boss” is mentioned and which reveal that Jelic, as a person close to Plenkovic, interfered in public procurement procedures, used his influence to have people hired, and was involved in tailoring election slates and in personnel changes in ministries.
“All of that is ridiculous. I don’t know what the messages are about. I am not aware of any communication between those people… it has nothing to do with me. People write messages to one another and that’s all,” Plenkovic said.
He said that he did not know if what the weekly reported about had actually happened, adding that he just glanced through the latest article as he no longer had “the stomach to read a paper that has been writing about political topics one-sidedly for years, which makes it lack credibility.”
Plenkovic added that Jelic was no longer an advisor to the HDZ and that his scope of work was exclusively the HDZ Zagreb branch.
As for messages concerning HDZ secretary-general Krunoslav Katicic, Plenkovic said that there was no reason for him to sanction Katicic.
“At the time in question Katicic was no longer the HDZ’s secretary-general, it was (Parliament Speaker Gordan) Jandrokovic. He only forwarded (the messages) without interfering or making any requests,” the PM said.
He assessed that the latest case “is not a text message affair at all.”
He said that the list of persons mentioned in the latest text messages were his chief of staff, spokesman, secretary-general, and economy minister, who are all people close to him.
“Of a myriad of messages, exactly those concerning those people were picked. It was ‘let’s hit them, maybe it will cause them some damage’,” he said in an interpretation of Nacional’s articles.
Among other things, an office-holder’s duties can include the forwarding of messages, Plenkovic explained.
“If a company writes to the PM’s chief of staff, that message is officially forwarded where it belongs. There are thousands of such messages. What do you think we should do if someone contacts us regarding an issue?” said Plenkovic.