It is telling that the latest arrests in Zagreb are being made after the death of Mayor Milan Bandic, parliamentary opposition parties said on Thursday, expressing hope that the cases would go to court.
The USKOK anti-corruption office and police on Thursday arrested eight businessmen and two city administration employees. According to unofficial information, the city administration employees received money from the businessmen who wanted to land jobs from the city.
“Now that no one needs votes from Milan Bandic any more, the ground has been laid for fighting corruption,” MP Mirela Ahmetovic (Social Democrats) said. She welcomed the anti-corruption campaign “but not one aimed at scoring political points.”
Hrvoje Zekanovic (Sovereignists) said he hoped the arrests would result in court proceedings. “It is customary in this country for people to end up on the front pages of the press and then get a pre-trial release and never spend a day behind bars,” he said, adding that he would be pleased if the suspects were found guilty.
Marija Selak-Raspudic (Bridge) said that the arrests could have been made much sooner, but that USKOK took action only after key actors, such as the deceased mayor, had disappeared from the scene.
“We’ve seen much bigger fish being caught and nothing ever came of it,” Selak-Raspudic said, hoping that the cases would go to court.