State Attorney: DORH and USKOK are not under government influence

NEWS 17.11.2021 18:25
Source: Matija Habljak/PIXSELL

State Attorney Zlata Hrvoj-Sipek on Wednesday dismissed claims in the media and the public that her office (DORH) and the USKOK anti-corruption office were under the government's influence, adding that the withdrawal of the Agrokor indictment did not mean they had dropped the case.

Speaking at a press conference, Hrvoj-Sipek said that as state attorney she was firm and resolute in her intention to raise the level of responsibility at DORH.

“Some believe dirty laundry should be cleaned in one’s own backyard behind closed doors. On the contrary, I think we should talk about these things openly and that, as DORH, we can and want to show everyone that we stand ready to talk openly, to uncover as well as solve the problems in our own house.”

Categorically refuting all insinuations against DORH, Hrvoj-Sipek said one should look at who was making all the imputations and unfounded criticisms – persons representing the accused or members of groups with political or other interests.

She went on to say that after yesterday’s arrests of former prosecutor Mirela Aleric-Puklin, her husband Goran Puklin, and a former member of the Agrokor conglomerate’s management board, Piruska Canjuga, it became clear that the indictment in the case dubbed Big Agrokor must be withdrawn.

She said DORH would file it again after removing possibly contaminated evidence on which Aleric-Puklin had worked.

“Those criticising and speculating know very well what would have happened had we not done that… A final sentence would have been grounds for a retrial, the whole case would have gone down the drain,” said Hrvoj-Sipek.

“That would have been an embarrassment for DORH. This is neither an embarrassment nor a defeat for DORH.”

She also dismissed claims that they withdrew the indictment because of an expert evaluation and out of fear of expert Kemal Ismail’s testimony.

Speaking at the same press conference, USKOK director Vanja Marusic said the withdrawal of the Agrokor indictment was not a fiasco.

As for the arrests of former regional development and EU funds minister Gabrijela Zalac and former Central Finance and Contracting Agency director Tomislav Petric on orders from the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, she said it was correct that USKOK opened the case dubbed Software based on media reports.

However, based on verified information and extensive inquiries, at that time USKOK did not have sufficient doubt to open an investigation, Marusic said, adding that there had been no pressures nor cover-ups.

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