The trial of Josip Klemm, owner of the security company Klemm Security and leader of a war veteran association, charged with financial wrongdoing worth around HRK 3.5 million, started at the Zagreb County Court on Monday.
Under the indictment, in the period from 2005 to 2007, Klemm siphoned from his company, in collusion with several other persons who have pleaded guilty in the meantime and plea-bargained with the prosecution, close to three million kuna and evaded to pay HRK 593,000 in taxes to the state.
Arriving at the court on Monday morning, Klemm told reporters that he was not guilty of tax evasion and that he had paid all the taxes in the meantime.
Asked to comment on the fact that the persons indicted along with him had admitted to the charges, Klemm said that he was not familiar with what they had admitted to.
Klemm had said earlier that he would not plea-bargain with prosecutors like his accomplices and at the last pre-trial hearing he said that even if he had done something unlawful, he had not been aware of it.
He said that his company had paid HRK 200 million into the state budget.
All five persons indicted with Klemm in this case have pleaded guilty and plea-bargained with the prosecution.
The prosecution alleges that in the period from February 2005 to March 2007 Klemm siphoned money from his company by making unfounded payments from the company's drawing account into the accounts of other companies, which, acting in agreement with him, issued him with invoices for services they had never performed.
After receiving money from Klemm, the other accused, who acted as directors of those companies, gave the money paid to them back to Klemm, who, the prosecution alleges, in that way earned more than HRK 2.8 million, defrauding the state budget of more than HRK 593,000 in taxes.
The investigation into Klemm, one of the leaders of an anti-government protest of war veterans that lasted more than a year, started in 2014 and the indictment was issued in May 2015.
In June 2016, Klemm was indicted, along with the head of the Zagreb City Department for Education, Culture and Sports, Ivica Lovric, and city official Dragutin Kosic, for a loansharking contract regarding the transfer of basketball player Dario Saric and for unlawful hiring in the Cibona basketball club.