22:07 / 23.05.2022.

Author: Katja Miličić

Hajduk fans remanded to custody over violent clash with police

Police escort a Hajduk supporter into court

Police escort a Hajduk supporter into court

Foto: Slaven Branislav Babic / PIXSELL

Dozens of Hajduk football fans were remanded to custody on Monday following a violent clash with police on the A1 highway late Saturday. 

The violence occurred as Hajduk supporters traveled home under police escort after their team lost do Dinamo 3:1 in Zagreb. Officers fired live ammunition into the air and ground. Four fans were shot and around 40 fans and officers were injured in the melee. Police arrested 44 individuals. Groups of suspects were brought before an investigating judge at the County Court in Velika Gorica throughout the day on Monday. Many are exercising their right to remain silent.

After the first group of suspects were processed, court spokesperson Kornelija Kallay Blažeković told reporters that they were facing charges of inciting a riot and that the circumstances were such to warrant them being held in custody for 30 days.

"They have been remanded to custody for a period of one month. This applies for the first 10 suspects who have been brought before the investigating judge on charges of inciting a riot. All ten will remain in custody due to the possibility that they may repeat the crime and also because of the circumstances under which the crime was committed: in a crowd, where many lives were in danger, and significant material damage was inflicted."

By the end of the day 31 suspects were remanded to custody and 10 were released.

The clash was the largest incident of football violence ever in Croatia. It was sharply condemned by Interior Minister Davor Božinović who defended the conduct of police and said no mistakes were made in securing the event, a match between arch-rivals Hajduk Split and Dinamo Zagreb.

"Police did everything that was planned in terms of operations and tactics but they were met with an attack by hooligans. Officers responded according to the rules of the profession and the law, as they will continue to do in the future,” said Božinović.

One of the fans who was wounded by gunfire is being treated at Karlovac General Hospital. The 24-year-old man was shot in the lower left leg. He is expected to be in hospital for at least two weeks. He is under police guard.

"The important thing is that there were no injuries to arteries, veins, the nervous system, or bones. So, the patient is doing well, not in life-threatening danger, and has received all the surgical care that such a case requires,” said Dr. Dražen Tufeković, the acting chief of surgery at Karlovac General Hospital.

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