Božidar Kalmeta.jpg
Photograph: foto HINA / Zvonimir KUHTIĆ / mm

The Zagreb County Court will on Friday decide on an indictment issued against former transport minister and incumbent Zadar Mayor Bozidar Kalmeta whom the national anti-corruption office USKOK indicted together with 12 other persons for syphoning over HRK 15 million and EUR 850,000 from two state-owned road companies during Kalmeta's term as minister of maritime affairs, transport and infrastructure in the government led by the HDZ  in the period from 2008 to 2011.

Kalmeta's lawyer Kresimir Vilajtovic told Hina on Monday that there was no legal evidence to corroborate the indictment issued by USKOK in June 2015.

A panel of judges that will convene on Friday and will be presided by Judge Tanja Pavelin Borzic can uphold, reject the indictment or send it back to the prosecutors to amend it.

On 5 June last year, USKOK issued the indictment in which it alleges that Kalmeta, an official of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), divided over HRK 15 million and EUR 850,000, syphoned from road and motorway operators, with his associates Zdravko Livakovic, Milivoj Mikulic, Josip Sapunar and Stjepko Boban.

Aside from Kalmeta and the associates mentioned above, USKOK has indicted Igor Premilovac, whose companies were used to syphon money for road construction, four executives of construction companies - Damir Kezele, Ivan Berket, Miroslav Bunic and Petar Pecina; and Jurica Prskalo, Mario Lovrincevic and Sandro Vukelic, executives from the state-owned HAC motorway and HC road operators.

In a statement on its website, USKOK says that Kalmeta, in his capacity as transport minister and only assembly member in HC and HAC from 2005 through 2010, connected Livakovic, Mikulic, Sapunar and Boban to gain money for himself and others at the expense of the two companies.

The defendants, acting on a previous agreement, committed a number of crimes involving the taking and giving of bribes and abuse of office, to syphon money from HAC and HC through hired contractors, from which they demanded payments.

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