Dragan Kovačević, a former director of Janaf, will face trial on Friday, November 24 at the Zagreb County Court. He has been charged with receiving and giving bribes and arranging deals in the state-owned company. The indictment against him includes several other individuals, including entrepreneurs Krešo Petek, Edo Seifried, Ivan Širić, and Vatroslav Sablić as well as two former employees of Janaf.
Kovačević is accused of accepting a million euros from Petek in exchange for jobs worth almost HRK 65 million for Petek’s company. He is also alleged to have received two apartments from an entrepreneur whose companies he arranged deals worth millions of dollars. Dozens of witnesses are expected to be heard during the procedure related to deals worth HRK 100 million.
The trial will also focus on a second part of the Janaf affair that involved arranging jobs for Elektrocentra Petek. Uskok launched a new investigation against Kovačević and Petek, accusing him of taking money from Petek in exchange for arranging jobs in Janaf and Petek of buying clothes for Kovačević and his family and friends.
In a statement before the indictment panel, Kovačević claimed that the indictment was “completely fabricated and false” and urged for a “quick and fair trial.” He attempted to maneuver before the Constitutional Court to save his substantial assets but was unsuccessful. His assets had been frozen by Uskok prior to amendments made to the Criminal Procedure Code in June 2022 that now count asset freezing until the indictment is filed. Despite these changes, it remains uncertain what will happen to Kovačević’s assets after trial.
The trial is set to begin at 9:00 am at the Zagreb County Court on Friday, November 24th. It promises to be an interesting one with many high-profile figures involved in what has become one of Croatia’s biggest corruption scandals.