The USKOK anti-corruption office has indicted former Šibenik judge Maja Šupe for taking a bribe of €15,000 to acquit businessman Blaž Petrović, alleging attorney Branimir Zmijanović acted as an intermediary.
Without revealing the identity of the indictees, USKOK said on Friday the indictment, charging the three with bribe giving and taking in 2013, was filed with the Split County Court.
Supe was at the time a judge at the Sibenik Municipal Court, presiding over a panel in a case in which Petrovic was a defendant together with another person represented by Sibenik attorney Branimir Zmijanovic.
Under the indictment, Petrovic agreed with Supe, using Zmijanovic as an intermediary, to give her €15,000 if she acquitted him regardless of the actual state of the case.
USKOK alleges that it was agreed that Supe would be given €6,000 before the trial court verdict, and the remaining €9,000 once the verdict became final.
Acting in agreement with Petrovic, Zmijanovic wrote a promissory contract for the sale of a property in Sibenik under which judge Supe’s mother was to sell the property to a person for €59,100, and the buyer was to deposit an advance in the amount of €6,000, which, in case they pulled out of the deal, was to be kept by the seller.
Judge Supe’s mother signed the promissory contract at her daughter’s request, and the person stated as the buyer signed it at Petrovic’s request.
Petrovic then paid €6,000 into judge Supe’s mother’s bank account, with the note that it was a payment made in line with the promissory contract and that the paying party was the person stated as the buyer, the sole purpose of the payment being the payment of the agreed reward.
Supe then in late November 2013 made a ruling acquitting Petrovic and his co-defendant. The verdict became final in September 2014, after which Petrovic paid the judge the remaining €9,000.
Now a former judge, Supe denied the charges at a questioning at USKOK last year, and her attorney Kresimir Skarica said that a month before her arrest she had filed a request to be sent into retirement on account of poor health.
After USKOK pressed charges against her on suspicion of taking bribes, the State Judicial Council relieved her of her duties as a judge.
Supe was deputy head of the Sibenik Municipal Court’s Criminal Division, and she is known also for having acquitted businessman Tomislav Horvatincic who caused a boating accident in which an Italian couple was killed.
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