Deputy Speaker of Sabor Brkić and dozen more witnesses summoned by State Attorney's Office

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15:02

Zagreb, 040917. Trg zrtava fasizma.
Sjednica Predsjednistva i Nacionalnog vijeca HDZa.
Na fotografiji: Milijan Brkic, potpredsjednik sabora.
Foto: Goran Mehkek / CROPIX
Goran Mehkek / HANZA MEDIA

Deputy Speaker of Sabor and deputy president of HDZ Milijan Brkić

On Tuesday, the Office of the State Attorney (DORH) is to begin the questioning of a number of persons in the effort to determine what has happened to the 2011 case in which police surveillance subjects in an investigation of elite prostitution were tipped off. At some later point, the case file disappeared from the Municipal Office of the DORH in Zagreb, which had conducted the investigation.

As confirmed by the DORH, the questioning will be done with about a dozen people ‒ basically everyone who has been in touch with, or has knowledge of, the content of the case file. The exact details on the process are not available; however, based on last week's statements by Chief State Attorney Dražen Jelenić and statements of certain other people who have had a significant role in the controversial case, it seems certain that Milijan "Vaso" Brkić, currently Deputy Speaker of the Sabor and vice-president of the ruling HDZ party, is on the list. He was Deputy Director of Police in 2011 and some people involved in the case of elite prostitution have indicated his involvement in the blowing of the police surveillance. He has publicly said he would answer the DORH summons.

Also on the list for questioning should be Željka Pokupec, the Chief of the Municipal Office of DORH at the time of the scandal, now a lawyer. She and her then Deputy Silvio Sušec worked both on the case of elite prostitution and the parallel urgent investigation of the disclosure of confidential official data from the case, which had led to the surveillance being blown. Pokupec herself is expected to furnish most of the information on the way the case was put together, what acts were performed in the investigation and what the missing document file contained ‒ including whether she had really questioned Brkić at the time, as he maintains she did. Her deputy Sušec, who also worked on the urgent  investigation of the leaks, is another official likely to be questioned..

What has been preserved

It should be noted that the DORH is simultaneously working on the reconstruction of the missing case file. Already, transcripts of testimonies of two witnesses questioned in the case have apparently been found and provided by the County Court in Zagreb, which had performed the original questioning. It can be assumed that the missing file also contained the official records of police interrogations of the witnesses and other police documents that had originally prompted the decision to seek the court order for surveillance. This means that the DORH is also expected to summon some officials of the Ministry of Interior, primarily the former Chief of the Rijeka Police office of USKOK, Božo Barbarić, who had worked on the investigation of the blown surveillance in the summer of 2011 and sent the results of the internal investigation to the then Chief of Criminal Police Vitomir Bijelić at the end of July. The entire scandal of the connection between Milijan Brkić and certain perpetrators of the case of elite prostitution erupted after the Nacional magazine had published excerpts from Barbarić's report, which tied Brkić to the leaks.

"Mislaid" case

It is possible that the DORH will also invite Bijelić to clarify whether he has forwarded the said report to anyone or has reported to someone about its content at least verbally.

In addition to the mentioned officials, some other deputies and other officers of the Municipal DORH office in Zagreb are likely to be summoned and asked to clarify what has been happening with the missing file, the method of its keeping and the observance of the prescribed procedures. It is to be assumed that the DORH will also talk to former Chief State Attorney Mladen Bajić, who had to be aware of certain acts of the subsidiary prosecutor's offices, given his place in the hierarchy.

Yet, all efforts of the current Chief of DORH notwithstanding, the outcome of the current investigation is still quite uncertain. The missing file can in all likelihood be reconstructed on the basis of documents preserved at the court and in the Interior Ministry, but unless the fate of the original case file is clearly established, unless it is known whether it was mislaid by accident or someone had "put it in a safe place", the possibility that it also contained other material ‒ possibly compromising certain people ‒ will remain open.

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