Addressing a round table on the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day on Wednesday, Chief State Prosecutor Dinko Cvitan warned that USKOK anti-corruption office did not have appropriate working conditions and that some prosecutors had no desk to work on.
Cvitan also assessed that the legislative framework was absurd because expanded confiscation of illegal gains could be, for example, applied to public transport controllers for a bribe of HRK 100 but could not be applied to public company directors who disposed of billions of kuna each year.
Cvitan, who came at the helm of the State Prosecutor's Office from USKOK said that he had to point out that the Zagreb-based USKOK office was lacking in clerks and office space.
"I have to say that people in USKOK have to live and work in conditions like that. There are 26 deputy prosecutors in the Zagreb office which means there should be 27 clerks yet while I was the director I had two clerks while the current director has five who share four desks," Cvitan said.
"It is a fact that this looks horrific but I have an obligation to go public with that. Administration staff is being worked into the ground and working conditions are lacking. The Justice Ministry has a good intention to approve (new employments), but those people do not have anywhere to sit," he said.
Cvitan said that 133 more deputy prosecutors should be employed and this lack of staff made it impossible to meet deadlines and resolve cases.
President of the Council of Europe's Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) and Supreme Court Judge Marin Mrcela recalled that GRECO had recommended that only Croatia was required to conduct research why there was such a large discrepancy between the perception and actual state of corruption in the judiciary.
The second recommendation that was made to all member states including Croatia relates to a code of ethics for parliamentarians which many countries do not have but should have so that MPs and citizens can know what they can and should expect of lawmakers, Mrcela said.