The USKOK anti-corruption office said on Wednesday it had filed an indictment at the Zagreb County Court against judges from the eastern city of Osijek, Darko Kruslin, Zvonko Vekic and Ante Kvesic, the brothers Zdravko and Zoran Mamic, and Vekic's friend Natasa Sekulic for graft, influence peddling and money laundering.
USKOK claims that in November 2016, judge Kruslin came to the VIP box at Zagreb’s Maksimir stadium, where he met Zdravko Mamic and socialised with him, although he knew that proceedings against the Mamic brothers were under way at his court and that it was likely that he would be assigned to preside over the trial chamber.
According to the indictment, Zdravko Mamic had personal contacts with judge Vekic a number of times between 2017 and 2019, in Zagreb and Osijek (Croatia), Banja Luka and Siroki Brijeg (Bosnia and Herzegovina), and Dubai, when Mamic was a defendant in several criminal proceedings against him, his brother and others.
USKOK claims that Vekic assured Mamic that he would ensure an acquittal in one case, dismiss the charges in another, and decide on the restitution of a 7 million kuna (€929,059) guarantee in a third case. In exchange for that, USKOK claims, Mamic gave Vekic at least €370,000 on a number of occasions for him, Kruslin and Kvesic.
Vekic and Sekulic are accused of using a part of the money Vekic received from Mamic to secure favourable court decisions.
Osijek County Court judge Zvonko Vrban took discplinary action against Kruslin and Vekic early in 2022 after the fugitive Zdravko Mamic called them out for corruption. Kruslin presided over the trial chamber which sentenced Mamic to six and a half years’ imprisonment for siphoning 116 million kuna (€15.40 million) from the Dinamo football club together with his brother Zoran and two other persons.
When the sentence became final, Mamic sent USKOK an USB flash drive containing accusations against Vekic, Kruslin and Kvesic. This prompted an investigation which resulted in the judges being arrested for taking bribes and influence peddling.