State Attorney General declines to attend Anti-Corruption Council meeting

NEWS 06.02.2023 14:05
Patrik Macek/PIXSELL

Croatian State Attorney General Zlata Hrvoj-Sipek declined the invitation to a meeting of the parliamentary Anti-Corruption Council on Tuesday, citing earlier commitments, Council chairman said on Monday. Hrvoj-Sipek will appear before the parliamentary Justice Committee on Tuesday to defend the report on the work of the state attorney offices in 2021.

The hearing will be an opportunity for opposition MPs to ask her about the latest scandals, notably the text messages affair concerning the state-owned Hrvatske Sume forest management company and the so-called software affair.

Opposition groups have collected 30 signatures necessary to move the State Attorney General’s report to the top of the parliamentary agenda.

Opposition lawmakers will want to hear from Hrvoj-Sipek why she had shelved the file on the so-called “software affair”. The case was later taken up by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office in Croatia, which led to the arrest of former Minister for EU Funds Gabrijela Zalac.

The State Attorney General was also invited to a meeting of the parliamentary Anti-Corruption Council on Tuesday, but she declined the invitation due to earlier commitments, Council chairman Nikola Grmoja (Most party) said.

“Zlata Hrvoj-Sipek has avoided the toughest ground for her in Parliament, and that is the Anti-Corruption Council where the opposition has a majority. She, however, cannot avoid the plenary session, the Justice Committee and questions from MPs,” Grmoja wrote on Facebook.

She will have to answer why nothing has been done for two years against Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic’s closest aides, given that the State Attorney’s Office has all the correspondence between Gabrijela Zalac, Josipa Rimac and Krunoslav Jakupcic. “Neither she nor Plenkovic will escape the questions and the truth,” Grmoja concluded.

The session of the National Council monitoring the implementation of the Anti-Corruption Strategy, initially scheduled for Tuesday at 9 a.m., was called off on Monday after the State Attorney General announced she could not attend.

After the Justice Committee, the discussion on the report on the work of the state attorney offices in 2021 will move to the plenary, which is scheduled for Thursday.

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