zoran milanović.jpg
Photograph: Hina / Denis CERIĆ /dc

Social Democratic Party (SDP) chief and former Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic on Friday commented on allegations President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic made against former Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA) head Dragan Lozancic that he was Milanovic's personal intelligence officer, saying that the president "could explain this irresponsible statement before a parliamentary commission of inquiry."

"She should not be surprised if parliament summons her to explain her allegations, because the burden of providing evidence is on her and not on Lozancic," Milanovic told the press after a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Croatian Pensioners' Party (HSU).

Milanovic said that "accusations are not that grave, but they are very frivolous and irresponsible when made by someone who is president" and "they sound like something out of cheap spy novels."

We can try to clarify this before a commission of inquiry in parliament, Milanovic said adding that he "did not break any law, and I don't know if the president did."

Should parliament form such a commission, the president then must come before it and answer what she meant when she said that Lozancic had broken the law, Milanovic said. Parliament is above the president and it is her duty to appear. I cannot say anything else, Milanovic told the press after MP Tomislav Koncevski of the Labour Party already asked the parliament earlier this morning to set up such a commission.

Asked about a possibility of bringing a civil lawsuit against the president over her statement, Milanovic said he could not afford it, given his position. "If I were an ordinary citizen, I would have had a reason to do so several times in the past ten years, this way you just grin and bear it," Milanovic said.

Reporters were also interested in hearing Milanovic's opinion about disagreement between the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Bridge party on the parliamentary home affairs and national security committee, regarding the appointment of Daniel Markic as new SOA chief.

"This situation additionally confuses the Croatian public because they don't know who is in power. The power must not be absolute, there might be disagreements about voting the same way, but in this case this is the rule and not an exception. This is why it is dangerous, especially when national security is at stake," Milanovic said.

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