. Seven months after the elections, the new Government is still very considerate with notorious criminals, which is why they have the guts to confess their sins in newspapers, like retarded children that have been used by someone, and while being used, they got rich by chance. The former director of the Croatian lottery, a person named Valjak, testified recently about this unbelievable ease of self-promoting immorality as something totally natural. With a smile on his face, he explained to a Jutarnji List journalist that all auctions organized by the Foundation run by Ankica Tudman had been fixed, that he had been ordered to buy lousy paintings at enormous prices, that the lottery had to give 30,000 kunas to the Foundation every month, that he had to donate money to soccer teams, especially Hajduk, and that all the fixed auctions had been recorded on video... The man calmly said his salary had been 15,000 kunas, that he owned a house in Zagreb and another one on the Adriatic coast. All this happened while three quarters of Croats barely survived. What now? Has an investigation against Ankica Tudman been opened? No. And, by the way, has the investigation against Nevenka Tudman been closed, since the Police told us that it was started a long time ago?
Why is Valjak grinning from the newspaper pages, instead of from prison? Ah, yes, because of the SDP's fear from vengeance.
The only thing missing was a hint of humanism and renaissance, and this has been taken care of by a mysterious Commission that decided to plant a proposal to parole a group of drug dealers from Split under the President's pen. In the country of organized HDZ's criminal underworld, this case was promptly used to reap political points, as well as eagerly awaited, but this time deserve attack on the President of the country. On the other side, all those contradictory statements, offered resignations (by the chief of the department for crime suppression of the Split Police), mutual accusation of corruption, imprudent statements by the "spokesperson" of the Parole Board, Ivan Zvonimir Cicak... are supposed that this country is rooted in democracy, where, just like in Great Britain, every important issue is thoroughly debated in public. But, we are talking about Croatia, a country that has less to do with democratic debates than Cuba.
Let's start from the beginning. The three dealers from Split were arrested with a substantial amount of hard drugs in the town literally destroyed by the HDZ government, the town with the highest unemployment rate and most drug addicts in Croatia, the town that Tudman used as a testing site for his scorched-earth plan, where only urban misery and rural arrogance reign. The three of them were sentenced to several years in prison. The verdict was issued by court whose president has "kept" an incriminating document about one of Split's narco-bosses in his drawer for eight years. This fact, plus the fact that the Croatian prisons swarm with children caught with one joint, really opens the space for a legitimate doubt in the soundness of the punishment inflicted upon the amnestied group.
Many facts point at the doubt that the dismissal of the HDZ's top officials from the Police hasn't disabled the powerful HDZ's gang prepared to use every opportunity, with media assistance provided by a daily newspaper that has almost gone berserk, and spill an uncontrolled amount of accusations all over the new authorities. Facts also prove that the judiciary is still connected with the former regime, the most important officials of which - military, police and civilian - acquired wealth by trading in drugs and weapons. In such an atmosphere, every suddenly awakened "Puritanism" of the courts and the Police seems like a democratic farce.
Facts also remind us that the former president of this country paroled many murderers (the one that killed Josip Reihl Kir, for example), but I cannot thinks of a Police boss in Osijek resigning because of this. Nor do we remember anyone from the Split Police department offering a resignation when Zeljko Maglov, one of the bosses of Tudman's military-political underworld "in charge" of drug and car smuggling, was sentenced to a symbolic prison sentence.
Is it possible to arbitrate in this "parole" scandal by taking strictly this or that side? Moreover, the Ministry of Justice, as well as the President's office, still haven't presented the explanation of the decision reached by the Parole Board to the public. This brings the logical conclusion that something is being deliberately kept secret, which only strengthens the horrible fact that such an important decision was made by the people chosen not according to professional but according to political and friendship criteria. The fact that the Parole Board ignored the opinion of the District Attorney's Office and the Court in Split, which was illegal, the fact that the membership of van Zvonimir Cicak on the Board is incomplete and unqualified, and the refusal of the Ministry of Justice to comment on this case, unbelievably reminds of arrogance and hushing up done by the HDZ government.
Perhaps the most bitterness in the mouth is left by the assumption that Croatia needs one such institution of suspicious competence, based on an act of mercy of the current President of the Country, as a sad remnant of Tudman's royal prerogatives and his propensity to parole murderers and other criminals. The suspicious merciful powers, concentrated in the hands of the Ruler and his "trustees", in most cases turn out to be the other side of terror, and always a lousy substitute for an independent and competent judicial system.