The leadership of Croatian Radio Television (HRT) on Monday reacted in the strongest terms to a statement by the secretary-general of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party, Milijan Brkic, who said that HRT director Goran Radman would have to leave because he was incompetent and because he had violated the law, and that the parliament's Conflict of Interest Commission and the Administrative Court had confirmed that he was in a conflict of interest.

"HRT director Goran Radman filed a lawsuit against the decision of the Conflict of Interest, the Administrative Court in Zagreb rejected the suit and the said verdict hasn't become final and this case is still ongoing," the HRT's public relations office said in a statement. 

HRT refuted Brkic's claims that "other countries' 'services' were instructing and running a part of the employees and editing programmes to foment political spins, social division and to smear our country", saying such claims were malicious and untrue, and stressing that HRT was an independent public media house whose work is regulated by the HRT Act, and the agreement between the HRT and the Croatian government. HRT also said that its work was monitored by the Programmes Council, Supervisory Board and other relevant bodies.

HRT also rejected arguments about political, bank or corruption influences.

HDZ leader Tomislav Karamarko, too, said this past Saturday that Radman should leave and that his replacement did not constitute a purge.

"I am not satisfied with that public service which we all pay. That television is in the service of one party and serves to destroy the political cooperation between Bridge and the HDZ. Mr Radman should leave and that structure should start acting professionally and objectively," Karamarko said.

The plan to replace Radman has also been supported by Ivan Kovacic, who chairs the club of parliamentary deputies of the Bridge party, which recently formed the government with the HDZ-led Patriotic Coalition.

Kovacic believes that Radman is in a conflict of interest and that his term has been compromised by a number of scandals.

HRT programme director Sasa Runjic on Saturday dismissed Karamarko's claims, saying that any unfounded attack on the HRT was a direct attack on democracy.

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