Fimi Media trial

Former deputy PM testifies at Sanader trial

26.02.2013 u 12:30


A former deputy prime minister in the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) government, Damir Polancec, in the trial for the Fimi Media scandal testified on Tuesday that many people had without proper authorisation referred to Former PM Ivo Sanader's authority. Sanader is accused of syphoning around HRK 70 million of the state's money which the prosecution claims was used to fill a party slush fund.

Responding to questions by Sanader's defence counsel, Polancec said that people often without any authorisation referred to officials with influence.

"That happened to me too. Often people referred to me without any authorisation and that cost me", Sanader's former associate said at the start of his testimony, noting his residence as the Turopolje Prison where he is currently serving a ten-month sentence for favouring Vukovar attorney Petar Miletic for a false feasibility study.

Polancec said that the party's presidency had complete trust in former party treasurer Mladen Barisic but that the party's cashier, Branka Pavosevic, did not have any particular status as far as Sanader was concerned.

"Party finances were never discussed in my presence", said Polancec.

Polancec assessed that the party had sufficient funds to settle all its obligations and that he believed these were covered by donations, membership fees and state budget funds.

This is the second time Polancec has appeared in the trial. As a witness for the prosecution last September, Polancec testified that no-one in the party presidency ever objected to Sanader's decisions. In his testimony then, Polancec added that presidency meetings were always are fine dining affair with plenty of food and drink and that once he commented to the then spokesman, Ratko Macek who is also accused in the case, that this may be a little overdone and that Macek just said, "the less you know the better for you".

The trial in this the largest scam in Croatia will continue on March 4, when former HDZ finance minister, Ivan Suker is to take the stand.