A panel of judges at the Zagreb County Court today rejected the appeal filed by state prosecutors against the last Wednesday's decision by the court to release 14 of the 15 accused in the Agrokor case, pending trial. Meanwhile, Agrokor's owner Ivica Todorić’s younger son Ivan returned to Croatia today.
On his arrival in Croatia this morning Ivan Todorić immediately went to the State Prosecutor's office in Zagreb, where he was interviewed. His lawyer Jasna Novak told the press that he is accused of the abuse of business trust, counterfeiting and bad book-keeping practice like all the others in the case and had declared his innocence, although declining to answer any specific questions given the volume and breadth of the issues involved. Novak went on to explain that Ivan Todorić had immediately returned to Switzerland as his wife was expecting to give birth in a matter of days, however, emphasising that her client would respond to any invitation he received, whether it be from the court, state prosecutors or any other relevant institution.
Fran Olujić, the lawyer representing the older brother Ante Todorić, said today that his client would also respond to any request he received. He also confirmed that defence lawyers had been granted access to the case files, which are over one hundred thousand pages in length. He said today that this would cause some technical difficulties given the large number of accused and also confirmed that it was completely clear that Finance Minister Zdravko Marić, a former director of the Agrokor food consortium, was not considered an important witness in the case, nor would he be asked to be a crown witness.
And a panel of judges at the Zagreb County Court today rejected the appeal filed by state prosecutors against last Wednesday's decision by the investigating judge Zoran Luburić to release 14 of the 15 accused in the Agrokor case, pending trial. Zagreb County Court spokesperson Krešimir Devčić explained that the panel of judges had agreed with Luburić that the prosecution had failed to provide enough evidence about the danger of witness tampering. Devčić also confirmed that an appeal against investigative custody had not been received from Agrokor's owner Ivica Todorić. It is still not clear where Ivica Todorić is. At first, he was thought to be in London but now the media are speculating that he might be in Switzerland.
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