Todoric and 14 more defendants indicted for embezzling HRK 1.2bn from Agrokor

NEWS 15.09.2020 17:46
Source: N1

Former Agrokor owner Ivica Todoric and 14 of his closest associates were on Tuesday indicted by the County Prosecutor's Office in the Agrokor scam for having defrauded the company of over HRK 1.2 billion.

“The case is quite extensive and the indictment itself consists of 459 pages while the entire case file consists of 80,000 pages,” Zagreb County Court spokesman Kresimir Devcic confirmed on Tuesday.

Explaining the legal procedure, Devcic said that a judge will be appointed to try the case while the indictment needs to be delivered to all the accused and their defence attorneys who have the right to respond within eight days. After that period, a trial chamber will be appointed, Devcic explained.

“Considering there are 15 defendants, that will last a few months before the trial chamber convenes. It is not realistic to expect any decision on the indictment in just one month and everything depends on the defence teams’ strategy and they can request that some unlawful evidence be excluded which could slow down the procedure but there is also the possibility that an agreement is reached regarding the indictment and matter may proceed somewhat quicker,” said Devcic.

The Zagreb County Prosecutor’s office launched an investigation against Ivica Todoric and his sons Ivan and Ante and 12 Agrokor executives and two auditors in November 2017 due to unlawful gain of more than a billion kuna.

The investigation was to have been completed by 20 May 2019,however, the deadline was extended due to the complexity of the case and so it was completed on 17 July this year.

The other defendants in addition to Todoric and his sons are Alojzije Pandzic, Damir Kustrak, Hrvoje Balent, Ivica Crnjac, Olivio Discordia, Marijan Alagusic, Sanja Hrstic, Mislav Galic, Tomislav Lucic , Piruska Canjuga, Ljerka Puljic and Ivica Sertic.

All of the defendants were executives in the then Agrokor while Discordia and Hrstic were employees with the Baker Tilly auditors who prepared an audit of Agrokor’s accounts.

Investigative custody was ordered for only Ivica Todoric after he was extradited to Croatia from London only to be released on bail of HRK 7.5 million in November last year under the condition that he does not leave Zagreb.

In the meantime a trial was launched against Todoric who is accused of defrauding Agrokor of €1.25 million along with Ante Huljev, Piruska Canjuga and Nicole De Rossi.

Canjuga’s defence attorney Anto Nobilo, said that based on the results of the investigation the indictment was unexpected but knowing the legal practice in Croatia, then it could have been expected.

“The indictment against her will be quashed because, of the six years covered in the indictment, my client had not been in her job for four years. That shows that the indictment was created to fulfil its political objective and that was to take over Agrokor,” Nobilo said.