Osijek-Baranja County Prefect Vladimir Sisljagic and a former head of the County Development Agency, Martin Marolin, pleaded not guilty to abuse of office and power at the commencement of their trial before the Osijek County Court on Tuesday.
The Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organised Crime (USKOK) has indicted Sisljagic and Marolin for having defrauding the county budget of more than 120,000 kuna (16,000 euros).
The indictment alleges that in 2011 and 2012 Sisljagic, with the assistance of other defendants, demanded from companies that were to be awarded grants by the county authorities to pay him back 80 per cent of the allocated amount.
One of the defendants, Zlatko Maksimovic, a former chairman of the county legislature, pleaded guilty at a preparatory hearing and was given a suspended 11-month sentence on the condition that he would not commit a criminal offence in the next two years.
Sisljagic's lawyer Radan Kovac said today that he would prove that his client was a victim of perjury committed by Maksimovic.