Minister Maric comments on leaked e-mails about Lex Agrokor

NEWS 09.05.2018 13:20
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Source: N1

Finance Minister, Zdravko Maric, commented on Wednesday the leak of private e-mail correspondence between Economy Minister Martina Dalic and a number of advisors from private companies on the writing of the controversial Lex Agrokor passed in April last year.

The website Index.hr published the e-mails earlier on Wednesday, causing a stir in the Croatian public, raising concerns about the possible conflict of interest, and after Dalic had refused to name the law’s authors for more than a year.

“I’ve only seen a short summary of that piece of news, I would prefer not to comment anything about those e-mails, and there is nothing more I can say about that. I was recently subject to an investigation by (Croatian Parliament’s) committee to investigate conflict of interest, and for me that story is for the most part over,” Maric told N1 in Jordan, where he is attending the annual meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Maric was called for questioning by the Parliament committee in April to testify about a government meeting in early 2017, before the special law was passed. The meeting was attended by government officials and Agrokor founder Ivica Todoric, and discussed ways the government could help stabilise Agrokor, which at the time employeed 60,000 people across the region.

“I am no lawyer, but I can say that for me personally – I never disclose any (sensitive) information to anyone, and I never did. In my deposition to the Parliament committee, I had to talk about details from a meeting of senior state officials, but apart from that, I never reveal any details to anyone. And about these other allegations, I have no comment,” Maric added.

Some of the e-mails published by Index.hr mentioned Maric as well, with both Maric and Dalic serving in Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic’s cabinet since its establishment in October 2016.

“I was a small part of it (e-mail exchange) in the beginning, and I soon left the communication, so I have no knowledge about that,” Maric told N1, referring to the e-mail correspondence about drafts of the special law which allowed the state to appoint emergency management in the private-owned indebted food and retail giant Agrokor.

The journalist for Index.hr who published the story about leaked e-mails, Ilko Cimic, told N1 that the correspondence that has not yet been released to the public included some e-mails sent by Maric to Dalic.

“These were messages which started in late February (of 2017). Maric commented on the situation at Agrokor, the fall in stock prices, what some media were writing about Agrokor, and commented on the process of designing Lex Agrokor,” said Cimic.

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