Police have filed a criminal complaint against a top HDZ official in connection with the investigation into the so-called text messages probe, according to unnamed sources quoted by Croatian media on Monday.
Milijan Brkić, the deputy speaker of parliament and HDZ vice-president, has been formally named as a suspect, along with his brother. Two other suspects in the same case were named earlier. Franjo Varga is a former police IT specialist, and the other suspect, Blaž Curić is a former government chauffer.
Brkić is suspected of using Varga to intercept emails from his wife's account. His brother allegedly monitored the emails of his wife the same way.
The allegations against Brkić and his brother surfaced as police investigated the text messages investigation, which involved fake texts used in the trial of former Dinamo Zagreb football boss Zdravko Mamić. Mamić had tried to use them to prove top officials in the judiciary were biased and could not give him a fair trial. Brkić's involvement may carry political implications, but for now, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković declined to tell reporters whether this was the end of Milijan Brkić's political career.
“I have no reason to regard him that way right now when neither you nor I know anything about what is going on with this investigation," Plenković said.
Police said in a statement that the National Police Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organized Crime in Osijek had completed "a criminal investigation into four Croatian nationals, ages 37, 49, 50, and 50, and on 15 April 2019 filed with the Osijek Municipal Prosecutor's Office a criminal report on the suspicion that they had committed offences against computer systems, programs and data to the detriment of several persons."
"There is reasonable suspicion that over a longer period of time one of the suspects, acting at the instigation and with the assistance of the other suspects, committed a number of offences involving the unlawful interception of computer data and computer abuse, thus unlawfully accessing the content of the injured parties' user accounts and making it available to the other suspects," the statement said.
According to media reports, Brkić was questioned last week about intercepting his former wife's emails. His ex-wife, however, issued a statement through her lawyer categorically denying the allegations against her husband.