A Croatian Radio and Television (HRT) commission of inquiry said on Monday that it had analysed all broadcasts of the "Otvoreno" round table talk show from January 28 to June 2, from the formation of the new government to the publication of Grizli Komunikacije PR agency's documents, and that "it cannot be concluded in any case that 'Otvoreno' editors favoured" the agency.

The public broadcaster said in a press release the analysis established that "Otvoreno" editors tried to have both the ruling parties and the opposition represented and that they did not invite representatives of the ruling Bridge party more often than others but in proportion to its participation in the government.

The commission established that in the said period, "Otvoreno" did not focus on land plots, the West Gate shopping mall outside Zagreb or anything to do with the Austrian companies Braunsberger Holding and its rival Focus Invest, the HRT said, adding that Justice Minister Ante Sprlje (Bridge) was a guest in only one "Otvoreno" broadcast, on March 8, when the topic was the judiciary.

The HRT went on to say that a letter of intent which Grizli sent Braunsberger concerned the organisation of meetings with journalists of major Croatian media, including the HRT, and that the letter mentioned the organisation of a discussion on "Otvoreno" in which Sprlje would be one of the guests.

Grizli is also mentioned in a published contract, signed by the Austrian party but not the Croatian, which mentions "Otvoreno" and Sprlje. 

The HRT said the mention of it and "Otvoreno" in this case had directly damaged the public broadcaster and that it would take legal steps.

Last Friday, Sprlje dismissed media reports alleging that he had arranged meetings with Austrian clients through Grizli Komunikacije regarding a dispute between Braunsberger Holding and Focus Invest over the West Gate shopping mall so that the Croatian state prosecution could file criminal complaints against the parties involved.

Last Thursday, media said they were in possession of a contract between Grizli and Braunsberger for PR services regarding Braunsberger's dispute with Focus Invest over the West Gate shopping mall. The contract reportedly says that Grizli will raise the subject via several web portals, offer it to the Vecernji List and Jutarnji List dailies, and raise it on "Otvoreno". Under the contract, several government members and state officials from the Bridge party would take part in the talk show. The contract also says that Grizli could link Braunberger with key government members from Bridge.

Thomas Bauer, a co-owner of Grizli, which did Bridge's PR, on Thursday accused First Deputy Prime Minister and HDZ president Tomislav Karamarko of trying to discredit the company and pressure Bridge officials. He said "Mr Karamarko is personally calling people and putting pressure on them, trying to find out information."

Related stories

Braunsberger Holding: Grizli hired soley for PR

Pula gets its first shopping mall

HRT will propose new subscription fee by year's end

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.