President Milanović: Turudić does not have a security check and can still be stopped because he has not yet taken the oath

11. February 2024.

“This is a disaster, it has elements of tragedy, but without what ends up being a catharsis. Such cynics, people, politicians will not face the truth, that’s why it has elements of tragedy. This level of degradation, where a noisemaker is pushed to the helm of the repressive apparatus, is unheard of in Croatia. He and his promoters were stronger, but he can still be stopped, he has not yet taken the oath,” said the President of the Republic Zoran Milanović, commenting on the appointment of judge Ivan Turudić as the State Attorney General in an interview with journalist Nataša Božić Šarić from N1 Television.

Explaining why Turudić was not sanctioned in 2015, when it was established that as a judge he was seeing Zdravko Mamić, who was then a defendant, he said: “It is one thing to remove someone from the system, that is difficult, but it is another to stop one from progressing. At that time he was the president of the County Court and Uskok judge, he did not go up. What the SOA (Security and Intelligence Agency) finds out is not evidence in court. Only USKOK (Croatian State Prosecutor’s Office for the Suppression of Organized Crime and Corruption) could have done it in 2015. But, USKOK needed to ask the County Court for an order to start dealing with Turudić, and who was the Court’s president?”

President Milanović further warned that Turudić was illegally elected as the State Attorney General. “Turudić does not have a security check, he has a basic check for the Uskok judge from 2019. How did he pass that check, after his illicit actions became evident? Well, we will have to talk about it ex post facto, also with the Prime Minister. It is not possible or even logical to believe that it was not known and that it should not have been included in the material during the last check,” he said, pointing to the public call of the State Attorney’s Council for State Attorney General candidates, from which it is clear how Turudić had to undergo a security check before being elected to the position.

“A man who does not work in the system, Turudić, applied to a public call issued by the State Attorney’s Council and signed his consent to undergo a new security check. One of the conditions set by the State Attorney’s Council is: a candidate who does not hold a position in the State Attorney’s Office must submit a handwritten consent. So, things are clear. The State Attorney’s Council does the administrative work for the Government. They collect data, which is handed over to the Government, the final level. A security check is required,” said the President.

“Turudić has not taken the oath, and he is already changing laws. I am referring to Lex AP,” the President pointed out. Asked about what he can do now, he replied: “My duty is to watch over the functioning of the system and the legal order. We mustn’t stop talking about this. Turudić was illegally and unlawfully elected in Parliament, and the law obliges parliamentarians, as well. A security check must be performed and that is the ultimate goal. Plenković constantly lies. One must be patient. I will not grow tired and calm down. I proposed a meeting of the National Security Council. We have not met for the third year because the Prime Minister does not want the system to function. He does not even want to appoint ambassadors. Tuđman was a democrat hundred times more than Plenković.”

“Turudić should not have been put up for vote. Is it late? No. One can go back and carry out a security check. The Prime Minister said that a new check is to be performed. The laws are clear. Why should Parliament not see that the law has been broken? Parliament was misled. How many times did Parliament change the laws it had passed? You can’t become a state prosecutor without a security check. I will do everything to make that check a reality. If it weren’t for me, it would have gone unnoticed,” President Milanović added.

Since parliamentary elections will also be held this year, the journalist asked President Milanović how he would position himself when it comes to awarding a mandate for the forming of a new Government. He replied that, according to the Constitution, it is clear that the mandate is to be given to a person who will have the support of 76 deputies and is able to prove it with signatures. “I will be patient. If the constitutional deadlines are broken, only once they are broken, then the letter of the Constitution will be acted upon. Did I ever hint at acting differently?,” he said. The journalist then asked him whether he would seek a new presidential term. “When I decide, if I decide, I will say,” he answered.

In the interview, the President also answered questions about the situation in the European Union ahead of the European elections, which are being held this year, as well as about the proposal to abolish the right of veto and the unanimous decision by EU Member States. “The EU is in a serious crisis. One should be loyal to it. But fantasizing about strengthening Europe, in which Croatia’s (role) would have to be reduced even more, that should be rejected. It is unacceptable. These are silly and dangerous ideas, the right of veto remains the right of every Member. And it is to be hoped that it will not be abused. The EU is not a state, the EU is a union of states. It is not perfect, but it is sustainable,” explained President Milanović.

On the current issue of the introduction of conscription, which was proposed by the Government, President Milanović emphasized that Croatia’s professional army, above all, needs to be strengthened. “We need a professional army. Conscription? This is the most dangerous time for such talks. The intentions are not good there. None of this can be carried out without the Commander in Chief. That bill will be a dead letter if the Commander in Chief is not consulted first,” he said, reminding that the Constitution allows everyone to have a conscientious objection. “It is unenforceable and makes no sense as long as the Constitution allows everyone to say ‘I won’t’,” he said.

At the end of the interview, the journalist asked President Milanović what he sees as the legacy of his first presidential term. “The fight against organized political racketeering. Distinctive sovereignty for Croatia, as well.”

PHOTO: Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia / Tomislav Bušljeta