First Deputy Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party leader Tomislav Karamarko said on Thursday that he never said that veterans would start a war if Minister of Veterans' Affairs Mijo Crnoja was sacked.
"That article, posted on a domestic news website, is nothing but a lie. I would have preferred that the veterans checked whether I said that before calling their press conference. The prime minister will decide on Minister Crnoja based on an assessment of whether there have been any violations of the law in this case, in accordance with democratic practice and the principles of the rule of law," Karamarko said on his Facebook page.
"No threats, lies or pressures can change that. No one in the government will fall for the provocation that we should replace the minister before it has been established beyond any doubt whether he has fallen foul of the law," Karamarko added.
Legal experts are still studying documents relevant to the accusations against Minister Crnoja, after which Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic, Karamarko and Bridge party leader Bozo Petrov will talk to him, government sources said on Thursday.
Crnoja is suspected of tax evasion, violence and providing false information.