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Photograph: Screenshot / google.hr/maps

The Zagreb County Court on Monday upheld an indictment against former Tax Administration chief Nada Cavlovic Smiljanec, former Osijek tax authority chief Ruzica Kovacevic, and entrepreneur Zeljko Bilos for defrauding the state of HRK 9.5 million.

The indictment was filed last June by the USKOK anti-corruption office, which contends that Bilos asked for a write-off of nearly HRK 8.4 million of his company's tax debt interest and for stopping distress proceedings on a tax debt exceeding HRK 27 million, although he did not qualify for that.

According to USKOK, in July 2012, tax officers rejected Bilos's interest write-off request, but Kovacevic ordered them to grant both requests and Cavlovic Smiljanec asked Kovacevic not to execute the distress order. This enabled Bilos's company to continue to operate until pre-bankruptcy proceedings were initiated in May 2013. The state budget was eventually defrauded of HRK 9.5 million.

USKOK launched an investigation of Cavlovic Smiljanec in April 2015, after which she resigned as Tax Administration chief and returned to parliament as an MP of the then ruling Social Democrats.

(EUR 1 = HRK 7.6)

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