First Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) Tomislav Karamarko on Tuesday said that he would submit an official request to the Conflict of Interest Commission to investigate the matter of cooperation between the company owned by his wife and MOL lobbyist Josip Petrovic, stressing that his entire career he had been strictly separating his private and business affairs, particularly with regard to sensitive issue of national interest and that he would continue to do so in the future.

"In reference to allegations of my possible conflict of interest due to cooperation between my wife's company with another private company when I wasn't even a member of the government, I want to say that today I am going to personally submit an official request to the Conflict of Interest Commission to investigate this case and to inform the public of the investigation results. During my entire career I always strictly separated my private and business affairs, particularly with regard to sensitive issues of national interest and I will continue to do so," Karamarko says in a press release sent from the government.

He recalled that his wife's company had over the past few years been the target of investigations by various state bodies such as the police anti-corruption office (PNUSKOK), Taxation Administration and various inspections and that was exclusively, Karamarko said, done to put political pressure on me personally. "Not one of the said state bodies ever found even the slightest irregularity in the business of those companies," he underscored.

Chairwoman of the Conflict of Interest Commission Dalija Oreskovic said that according to data released so far about the business relations between Karamarko's wife and his friend, Jozo Petrovic, who is a consultant for the Hungarian MOL oil company, there are no indications that there has been any breach of the law, however they indicate the "existence of certain connections in terms of interests" and Karamarko is "obliged to remove any doubt of a possible conflict of interest."

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