Dinko Mikulic, a former deputy war veterans minister, was sentenced by the Zagreb County Court on Monday to four years in prison, pending appeal, for taking bribes in exchange for preferential treatment in granting the purchase of apartments reserved for victims of the 1991-95 war.
If the verdict, delivered after a second retrial, becomes final, Mikulic will have to pay the government back some 1.3 million kuna (€172,000) and also pay for trial costs in the amount of 136,000 kuna (€18,000). In the previous two trials, Mikulic was sentenced to three years in prison each time, but the sentences were later quashed both times.
Hina did not clarify when the previous two trials took place.
Prosecuutors alleged that in 2005 Mikulic had solicited and obtained a bribe from Branko Dretar, co-owner of the Stanoing company, in exchange for fixing a tender to favour Stanoing, which offered its apartments to provide housing for veterans and victims of the war.
According to prosecutors, Dretar first gave Mikulic a commission in the amount of €50,000, after which he gave him 1 million kuna (€132,000) which Stanoing acquired by taking out a short-term loan.
(€1 = 7.54 kuna)