Croatian police have issued an arrest warrant for former Dinamo Zagreb soccer coach turned fugitive, Zoran Mamic, after he had failed to surrender to authorities by midnight on Monday to serve his prison sentence. Meanwhile, his brother and former club boss, Zdravko Mamic, was questioned by prosecutors in the Bosnian town of Livno, about his allegations of corruption in Croatian courts.
The arrest warrant was issued by Zagreb County Court on charges of abuse of office and powers, offering bribe, and the “abuse of trust in doing business.” A European Arrest Warrant is expected to be issued soon for Mamic, who had joined his fugitive brother in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“The competent authorities in Bosnia need to act on the warrant and arrest Zoran Mamic and decide whether legal conditions exist in Bosnia to extradite Mamic to Croatia. If Bosnia rejects the extradition request, Mamic will remain free in Bosnia until he is arrested in some other way – if not based on the (Croatian) arrest warrant, then on the grounds of a European Arrest Warrant,” Zagreb County Court spokesman Kresimir Devcic explained.
Statute of limitations after 15 years
He added that should Zoran Mamic remain free, he would not be able to leave Bosnia until the statute of limitations for his jail sentence expires. The statute of limitations in his case is 15 years, which means that the former Dinamo coach would have to remain living in Bosnia until 2036.
Out of the four defendants convicted of siphoning money from the Dinamo Zagreb soccer club, only the former tax man Milan Pernar turned up at Zagreb’s Remetinac jail on Monday to serve his sentence. Former club director, Damir Vrbanovic, is expected to turn up to serve his sentence by 26 May, state agency Hina reported.
The first accused in the case, Zdravko Mamic, had fled to Bosnia and Herzegovina just before the court handed down the verdict in 2018. His brother Zoran escaped the country after exhausting all appeals to the sentencing verdict. Both hold dual citizenship of Croatia and Bosnia, and both have formally petitioned the court to serve their sentences in Bosnia.
The Supreme Court in mid-March upheld a sentence of six and half years for Zdravko Mamic, while his brother Zoran’s sentence was reduced to four years and eight months. Pernar was sentenced to three years and two months, and Vrabanovic is expected to serve three years.
Zdravko Mamic questioned
Also on Wednesday, Zdravko Mamic was questioned by cantonal prosecutorial authorities in Livno regarding accusations he has levelled against certain judges, evidence of which he had submitted on a USB stick to Croatia’s anti-graft police Uskok. The accusations refer to judges at Osijek County Court with whom he claims to have socialised while they were trying his case.
The questioning was conducted based on international legal assistance, meaning that Mamic was called in to answer questions sent by Croatian investigators.