The new Croatian Defence Minister and former Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA) chief, Josip Buljevic, on Thursday declined to comment on the decision by President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic to dismiss Dragan Lozancic as SOA director, saying that Croatia has an efficient intelligence service.
"Allow me to close the intelligence chapter in my career. In principle, I will not comment on my work in the intelligence services. I would like our intelligence services to function well and be efficient," Buljevic said while taking questions from the press in Brussels where he was attending a meeting of NATO defence ministers.
The SOA has been at the centre of media attention in Croatia after President Grabar-Kitarovic last week signed a decision dismissing Lozancic as SOA chief for violating the Security and Intelligence System Act. She reiterated to the press on Wednesday that Lozancic had lost her trust, but would not discuss reasons for his dismissal, citing national security.
Under the law, this decision signed by the president requires co-signature by the prime minister, which is pending.