Conflict of Interest Commission fines defence minister Banozic

NEWS 20.05.2022 14:32
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Source: N1 / Ivan Hrstić / ilustracija

The Conflict of Interest Commission on Friday unanimously determined that Defence Minister Mario Banozic, who had served as the state assets minister, abused the entitlements when he adopted three decisions including one in which he granted himself an official apartment.

Banozic was fined 7,000 kuna for the breach.

Breaches were identified in three decisions he approved; the decision to grant himself a state-owned apartment of 30 square metres, then a decision on the right to accommodation in an apartment for state officials, and thirdly, granting himself an apartment in Gunduliceva Street in the centre of Zagreb.

“When office-holders find themselves in situations when they should decide on matters concerning themselves, they cannot be included in the decision-making. Those situations need to be identified and office-holders need to be excluded from the decision-making and delegate that to another person,” the said the commission.

The commission examined the case after media reports in March this year which was followed by a complaint.

Banozic told the commission that he initially agreed to the smaller apartment because it was the only one available. Later he was informed by the State Real Estate Agency that the apartment in Gunduliceva Street would soon be available and based on the criteria of the 2013 regulation, he could occupy it.

The 2013 regulation notes that first category officials are eligible for a three-room apartment (60m2) and an additional 10m2 for every other family member. In his application for an apartment Banozic noted that his spouse and two children visited occasionally however, the commission said that his family was never registered in Zagreb.

The fact that they occasionally visited did not mean that he was eligible for a larger apartment, the commission’s president Natasa Novakovic explained.

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