Outgoing Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic said on Wednesday that Bridge party leader Bozo Petrov was not under surveillance, that his phone was not tapped, his phone records were not examined, and that he was not under any measures of secret data collecting, adding that spokesman for the Bridge party Nikola Grmoja was telling untruths and that he was irresponsible.
Ostojic called on all those reporting such things to file criminal charges, so that he could defend himself from such charges but also to be able to prosecute them later, should evidence show that they were telling untruths.
We are also entitled to defend our dignity, Ostojic told a news conference in the Interior Ministry.
He also told those making such accusations not to cite, as he said, "the obscure" newsportal (dnevno.hr) which he personally sued for reporting untruths.
Ostojic also wondered how did Grmoja know for ten days already that the parliamentary committee for interior policy and national security received a note about the surveillance of Most chief Petrov as well as its content about the alleged suspicion on the abuse of position in surveilling Petrov.
I will not allow the smearing of police without evidence and arguments, Ostojic said.
To claim that the interior minister is ordering police officials to surveil someone without backing such claim with evidence is a serious crime, Ostojic said.
Croatia today is functioning in the world full of terrorist threats and its surveillance system is most definitly not dealing with things like that, but it is working professionally on maintaining the security of its citizens, Ostojic said.
He confirmed he was prepared for a face off with Most chief Petrov but not with his spokesman Grmoja.
"Let Petrov show some balls and have a meeting with me," Ostojic said, adding that then everyone will see who is surveilling whom.