Documents confirm my trial was rigged, says former football mogul

NEWS 10.11.2020 14:02
Source: Petar Glebov/PIXSELL

The former boss of Dinamo Zagreb Football Club, Zdravko Mamic, said on Tuesday that documents he had received from former police IT expert Franjo Varga, who was charged in a scandal involving fake text messages, confirmed his suspicions that the trial against him was politically motivated.

Mamic gave his testimony to Osijek County Court in the case of fake text messages in which Varga is the main defendant.

Testifying via video link from Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina where he had fled to on the eve of being convicted of siphoning money from Dinamo, Mamic said he had received Varga's number from former Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Tomislav Karamarko. At the time Mamic was being tried in Osijek for embezzlement and Karamarko told him that Varga had some information that could help him during the trial.

Mamic said that Varga had given him documents showing that some trials were being conducted behind the scenes and that he was convinced the case against him was a set-up.

Mamic did not check the documents’ authenticity because they confirmed his suspicions

He underscored that he did not check the authenticity of Varga's documents because they appeared to be authentic so he passed them on to his defence attorney, Veljko Miljevic, to forward them to the then chief state prosecutor, Drazen Jelinic, who succeeded Dinko Cvitan.

Mamic revealed part of the material he received from Varga to the public two days before the announcement of a final ruling in the trial against him before Osijek County Court after he was informed that he was going to be convicted. He said that the ruling had been decided in a cafe across the road from the court and that he had been informed of it by football referee Zeljko Siric whose friends were in the cafe at the time.

Asked whether he had asked Varga where he obtained the correspondence between Cvitan and Supreme Court judges, Mamic said that he did not but that he was certain that that was part of the “rigged trial against him in a court with corrupt judges and that he used all means possible to expose this criminal octopus.”

Todoric and Karamarko expected to testify

The trial is expected to hear the testimonies of the former owner of the Agrokor conglomerate, Ivica Todoric, and former HDZ leader Tomislav Karamarko.

Former police IT expert Franjo Varga and Blaz Curic, a former driver for former agriculture minister Tomislav Tolusic, were charged by the USKOK anti-corruption office with obstructing evidence.

Varga is accused of preparing fake text messages from mid 2017 to September 2018, between senior officials and other people with the intent of obstructing evidence in the trial against Mamic and his co-defendants as well as obstructing the process of Todoric's extradition from Great Britain to stand trial in Croatia.