Unclear with donations

Unclear with donations

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The previous head of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party, Jadranka Kosor, appeared as a witness at the trial in the Fimi Media corruption case on Tuesday, saying that “with hindsight” she should have insisted that the money that was deposited in the party coffers when she took over the HDZ be returned to the donors or paid into the state budget.

Kosor was referring to the 2 million kuna and 300,000 euros which party treasurer Mladen Barisic deposited in the party’s safe after she took over from Ivo Sanader, who is charged with the other accused in this case of siphoning about 70 million kuna from state institutions and companies via the privately-owned marketing agency Fimi Media into the HDZ’s slush fund.

Kosor stressed that Barisic had said, when handing over the money, that it had come from donations, adding that she had no reason to suspect its origin. She said she had begun to suspect its origin following media reports on the Fimi Media case, after which she notified Chief State Prosecutor Mladen Bajic, and HDZ secretary-general Branko Bacic handed over the money to the Chief State Prosecutor’s Office (DORH).

“With the benefit of hindsight, I would have proposed that the money be given back to the donors or immediately paid into the state budget,” Kosor said, adding that at that time she had served as prime minister and had been less involved with the party’s affairs.