Commenting on the acquittal of Ivica Todoric and his associates in the so-called "small Agrokor case", judge Maja Stampar Stipic said on Wednesday that the prosecution had failed to prove that Agrokor's former owner and his co-defendants had siphoned money out of the now defunct retail and food group.
“In order for defendants to be found guilty, each count of the indictment must be proved, which simply wasn’t the case here,” said the Zagreb County Court judge.
The judges are of the view that the money was spent on the consulting services provided, while the prosecutors failed to furnish any evidence to contradict this finding.
Stampar Stipic said that none of the witnesses confirmed that the third defendant Piruska Canjuga had asked the first defendant Todoric and the second defendant Ante Huljev to acquire undue gain for the Swiss company Sigman Invest AG.
In the judges’ opinion, the statement made by the witness Valentin Vicic, who said that he did the job for Agrokor based on an agreement with Huljev, was crucial for the acquittal.
“Even a prosecution witness, who purchased Sigman Invest AG, confirmed having seen documents about the job done by Vicic. It was a successful job that preceded the purchase of Mercator by Agrokor,” Stampar Stipic said.
Shortly after the announcement of the acquittal, Todoric told the press that the prosecutors had presented to the court “a monstrous and fake” indictment sponsored by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.
The prosecutors in this case announced an appeal.