Slush funds

Ex gov't spokesman being questioned by anti-corruption agency

09.11.2011 u 13:17


Former spokesman for the government and the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) Ratko Macek, accompanied by his lawyer, arrived in the building of the anti-corruption agency USKOK shortly before 11 AM Wednesday to be questioned as a suspect in the investigation into the HDZ slush funds.

Macek arrived in the USKOK building together with his lawyer Tihomir Rubesa and declined to address the press.

Macek is a new suspect in the Fimi Media case and according to the press, he is suspected of heading the operation of purchasing Osijek Television and the Zadar-based Hrvatski List weekly with approximately EUR 400,000 from the HDZ slush funds.

Also being questioned by USKOK this morning in connection with the HDZ slush funds is a former secretary general of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), Ivan Jarnjak.

This high ranking HDZ official arrived in the USKOK building around 8AM to be questioned by USKOK investigators in the presence of his lawyer Petar Pavkovic.

According to the media, USKOK suspects Jarnjak, as a responsible person in the HDZ party, of having helped the influx of money in the party slush funds which allegedly financed election campaigns, among other things.

This is an investigation in the Fimi Media case, which USKOK recently extended to include the HDZ party as a legal entity and Jarnjak, Macek, former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader, former HDZ treasurer Mladen Barisic and former HDZ accountant Branka Pavosevic.

About two weeks ago, the Prime Minister and president of the ruling HDZ, Jadranka Kosor, confirmed at a news conference that the ongoing investigation into the alleged HDZ slush funds had been expanded to cover the party as a legal entity and several other people. Next to her at the news conference was a vice president of the HDZ presidency Jarnjak, who told reporters he did not yet receive the confirmation that an investigation was launched against him, but that he would most definitely comply if USKOK summoned him for an interview..

At the interview I will clear my name of everything I am accused of and thus help the HDZ, Jarnjak said two weeks ago.

The Fimi Media case refers to the alleged syphoning of funds from state-owned companies, agencies and government ministries through the privately-owned marketing firm Fimi Media. Some of the money is suspected to have ended up in the HDZ's slush fund. A total of 19 people and the HDZ party as a legal entity are suspected in the case.

At the request of the USKOK, the Zagreb County Court forbid the HDZ party to sell its property pending the proceedings.