Interior minister: Petrov was not under surveillance

 Bridge party leader Bozo Petrov was not under surveillance, his phone was not tapped and his phone records were not examined, outgoing Minister of the Interior Ranko Ostojic said in an interview with Nova TV on Tuesday evening, responding to allegations from Bridge that he abused his office and powers and that PNUSKOK anti-corruption investigators had Petrov under surveillance after the November 8 elections.

Ostojic said that Bridge spokesman Nikola Grmoja was accusing him without providing any evidence and called on Petrov to face him publicly and discuss the allegations.

"They (Bridge) want to run the Ministry of the Interior, they want to be in charge of security and I think it would be fair if we came face to face with one another and saw who was telling the truth," Ostojic said, adding that allegations as serious as those coming from Bridge called for reporting it to the police and signing the report so the person making such allegations could be held to account if the allegations proved untrue.

He added that it was curious why Grmoja was declining to reveal any names or provide specific information. Allegations like Grmoja's require documents and evidence, the public must not be alarmed like this, he said. 

Ostojic said that he had not been contacted by the USKOK anti-corruption office but that he would make himself available if summoned for an interview.

He recalled that Grmoja's earlier allegations about Bridge members being blackmailed and pressured had been proven untrue by USKOK.

During the interview, Ostojic showed a printout of a document called "Bozo Petrov's criminal octopus", a supplement to an article about Petrov published on 1 December 2015 on the portal, noting that if Bridge had problems at the local level "they should deal with them at the local level, rather than doing it at the expense of the police."

Last update: Tue, 05/01/2016 - 21:48

More from Croatia

Croatia should be stronger bridge between EU, S-E Europe, German official says

Senior German official Michael Roth said on Tuesday Croatia was a bridge between the European Union and Southeast...

Nature magazine writes about plagiarism scandal involving Croatia’s science minister

Nature, international weekly journal of science, on Tuesday ran an article about the plagiarism scandal involving...

Petrov and Bulj not stripped of immunity in private suit

The parliamentary Credentials and Privileges Commission (MIP) on Tuesday rejected motions to strip two Bridge...

Croatian PM says economy minister wouldn't put private interest before state's

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Tuesday that Deputy PM and Economy Minister Martina Dalic enjoyed his full...

Bloomberg ranks Croatia 41st among 50 most innovative economies

According to Bloomberg's innovation index, Croatia is ranked 41st among the 50 most innovative economies, down three...