Ivan Kovačič.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Mario STRMOTIĆ/ik

 Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) officials Vojislav Stanimirovic, Milorad Pupovac and Mile Horvat, and two members of the Bridge (MOST) reformist party - party spokesman Nikola Grmoja and Omis mayor Ivan Kovacic - were interviewed by the police on Wednesday afternoon in connection with an investigation into alleged threats, pressures and political trade-offs in ongoing attempts to form a parliamentary majority and a government.

"I gave a statement to the police and guaranteed with my signature that I would not divulge its contents to the media," Grmoja told Hina, adding that the cases concerned apparently had to do with trading in parliamentary seats.

Grmoja would not say which cases he was referring to. He added that the police also interviewed Bridge member and Omis mayor Ivan Kovacic and that they were each interviewed for about 20 minutes.

Before he was interviewed by the police, Grmoja told reporters that he would tell the police what he knew about the allegations but that he expected "the police to interview also PM (Zoran) Milanovic and Defence Minister (Ante) Kotromanovic and Mr Prgomet, Mr (Mirko) Raskovic and Mr (Bozidar) Kalmeta."

SDSS vice-president Milorad Pupovac would not say about what he had talked with the police either.

"All three of us, my colleagues Stanimirovic and Horvat and I, have talked with the police, but I can't say what we have talked about because I signed a document saying that I would not comment on my statement," said Pupovac.

The anti-corruption office USKOK said on Tuesday that it had instructed the police to investigate allegations in the media of threats and trading in parliamentary seats, about which some members of Parliament had publicly complained.

One of those MPs is former SDSS member Mirko Raskovic who asked President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic last week to protect him from threats from his own party.

Pupovac responded to these accusations, saying that the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) had pressured Raskovic into withdrawing his signature of support for Zoran Milanovic as prime minister-designate.

Several days after his statement, Raskovic left the SDSS and Pupovac said that he considered Raskovic's seat in the parliament to belong to the SDSS and expected him to return it to the party, "especially given indications that this may be an organised theft of parliamentary seats."

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