Croatia’s Anti-Graft Body Probes Late Zagreb Mayor’s Associates

Croatia’s Anti-Graft Body Probes Late Zagreb Mayor’s Associates

From BalkanInsight

In a new anti-corruption action that started with arrests on Wednesday, Croatian police and anti-corruption investigators have launched an investigation into associates of former Zagreb mayor Milan Bandic, including the director of Croatian Radiotelevision, HTV, Kazimir Bacic.

Croatia’s anti-graft body, USKOK, reported on Thursday that after months of monitoring several persons, two decisions to start official investigations had been made, both connected with the late mayor.

The first case concerns two citizens, including Bacic, “due to a well-founded suspicion of committing the criminal offences of ‘bribery for trading in influence’ and ‘trading in influence’”.

Among other things, USKOK suspects that Bacic mediated with the then-mayor to provide the first suspect, who has not been named but who local media suggest is the entrepreneur Milan Loncaric, with permits for the legalization and construction of one of his projects.

The anti-graft body also claims that Loncaric gave 50,000 euros to Bandic through Bacic and that, as a reward for deals with Bandic, Loncaric gave Bacic an apartment in Zagreb worth at least a million kunas, or 133,500 euros.

Bandic died of a heart attack in February while campaigning for a seventh term as boss of the Croatian capital. He had a colourful career, marred by allegations of corruption. He was investigated several times, was detained by police in 2014 and was acquitted of graft in 2018. He was still on trial in a second case when he died.