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Croatia: Former Janaf CEO re-qualified

Dragan Kovačević, the former CEO of the state-owned Janaf oil pipeline operator and suspect in the Janaf corruption case, was arrested again on Wednesday along with three other suspects for accepting bribes to fix work, a source told near the HINA investigation agency.

Police confirmed that the criminal investigation conducted by the PNUSKOK anti-corruption police department in cooperation with the USKOK anti-corruption department was in progress.

“Several people have been arrested this morning for corruption. “For now, we can not give more details,” the Interior Ministry announced.

In mid-December, after being released from a three-month detention, former JANAF CEO Dragan Kovačević said he “had not stolen a penny” and that he would prove his innocence in court.

Kovačević later said that one million euros found in his garage was the money of his business partners intended for the purchase of 250 hectares of land in Slavonia.

Speaking about his club on Slovenska Street in Zagreb, where many state officials and business people are regular, Kovačević said that it was not a club but an association called “Slavonska ravnica” (Slavonian field), where people who came gathered from Slavonia.

USKOK suspects that Kovačević took a bribe from Krešo Petek, the owner of the company Elektro Petek and the main suspect, who is suspected of giving a bribe to the former mayor of Velika Gorica and former Croatian Democratic Union MP Dražen Barišić and former Social Democratic Party MP and former mayor Nova Gradiška Vinko Grgić, so that his company could employ millions worth of jobs.

USKOK has launched an investigation into 14 people accused of influential sales, bribery, illegal favoritism, abuse of office and power, and aiding and abetting the crimes mentioned.

In an expanded investigation, Kovačević is also accused of receiving information that he would be arrested and taking advantage of this prior notification to hide 4.5 million kuna in the place of Goran Puklin, who claims the money is his. After Puklin was involved in the investigation, his wife Mirela Alerić Puklin asked to be removed from the post of deputy state attorney.

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