The mayoral terms of Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic, who died of a heart attack aged 65 on Sunday, were plagued by many scandals, only two of which ended with non-final court verdicts, although more than 250 criminal complaints were filed against him.
In October 2014, Bandic and several of his closest associates were arrested on suspicion of crimes at the expense of the City of Zagreb, including illegal favouring and hiring, waste management, the use of official cars for private purposes and forging documents in a case later dubbed Agram.
After one month in custody, Bandic was released on HRK 15 million kuna bail. He was not allowed to return to work, sign acts nor communicate with city employees. He ended back in custody due to witness tampering and was released following a Constitutional Court decision.
Earlier this month, the High Administrative Court quashed a Conflict of Interest Commission decision under which Bandic failed to perform his duty honourably and independently because he received HRK 15 million from the Hanzekovic and Partners law firm as bail to be released from custody as well as contributions from citizens after the 2009 presidential election in which he had run.
In April 2018, the Zagreb County Court upheld seven counts of the indictment in the Agram case for illegal activities at the expense of the city, while three counts relating to waste management were returned to the prosecution for elaboration and were upheld in October 2019.
The trial in the Agram case is underway. At a hearing, this past Wednesday, an expert on waste management testified that the terms in a non-public tender were adjusted to the possibilities and permits of companies from the CIOS group, owned by Petar Pripuz, Bandic’s co-defendant.
The Zagreb County Court also tried Bandic for favouring the In the Name of the Family NGO. He was acquitted pending appeal in October 2018. The Supreme Court has still not ruled on the appeals.
Milan Bandic served as the mayor of the Croatian capital city from 2000 until his sudden death on Sunday morning.