Partnership for Social Development filed a complaint against Karamarko: The official untruthfully presented the ownership structure of Soboli to the Commission?
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Translation: Matea Matić
In the midst of the “Consultant affair” (afera Konzultantica), where business relations between Ana Karamarko, wife of First Deputy Prime Minister, Tomislav Karamarko, and Josip Petrović, lobbyist of the Hungarian company MOL are being questioned, it seems that the “Soboli affair” is being reopened in much greater volume, i.e. suspicions of conflict of interest of the First Deputy Prime Minister, Tomisalv Karamarko, connected to the business of former company Soboli and associated companies.

Soboli is creeping behind the hill again, except this time it’s multiple times bigger and more dangerous for Tomislav Karamarko   

Namely, as it is written in the article of journalist Ivan Pandžić, published in the daily paper 24 Sata  entitled SLUČAJ SOBOLI – JOŠ 2005. JE RADIO ZA PETROVIĆA (THE SOBOLI CASE – IN 2005 HE WORKED FOR PETROVIĆ) (enclosure 1), in 2005 Tomislav Karamarko was co-owner of the company Soboli and at the same time he was head of the intelligence service, also, at that time, among others, he did business with the company INA, i.e. with Josip Petrović.

We checked the above-mentioned in the documentation possessed by the association Partnership for Social Development (PSD) which truly undeniably shows that Tomislav Karamarko was co-owner of the company Soboli in the year 2005 even though he formally transferred only the management rights to attorney Miljenko Bukovac. As it is evident from the text of the dismissal of the criminal complaint, i.e. Decision Number: K-US-61/16 that the Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organized Crime (USKOK) submitted to the Partnership for Social Development (enclosure 2), it is also indisputable that in 2005 Karamarko did business through Soboli with Josip Petrović, who at the time, as member of Management of INA, was involved in contracting between INA and Soboli.

Today, in midst of the “Consultant affair”, this fact could also become important in the “Consultant” case, as well as the new upcoming Soboli case, since it proves that the business relationship between Tomislav Karamarko and Josip Petrović has been continuous throughout the last decade, i.e. that there’s hardly a coincidence in the mentioned contract of Ana Karamarko with Josip Petrović.

However, the second part of the article of Ivan Pamdžić opens up issues which could be even more devastating for the First Deputy Prime Minister. Namely, after the association Partnership for Social Development warned on the lack of clarity in the legal succession of ownership over the company Soboli, all of a sudden documents appeared in the file of the Commercial Court which weren’t available at the first insight into the file of the Commercial Court in Zagreb (the year 2011) to the researchers of the association, such as the social contract from October 18 2006 on the transfer of co-ownership share in the company Soboli, and thus in all associated companies, from Tomislav Karamarko to Ivan Baketa. (enclosure 3 and enclosure 4)

From the moment the “Soboli affair” broke out (in 2011), the above mentioned social contract, signed on October 18, 2006, was used as the fundamental document which had proved that the complaint of the association Partnership for Social Development against Tomislav Karamarko for conflict of interest was unfounded, i.e. it was one of the fundamental documents that Tomislav Karamarko submitted to the Commission for Conflict of Interest as proof that he wasn’t in a position of conflict of interest as he was accused of with in the complaint.

After examining the Submission of the proposer to the Commercial Court in Zagreb (enclosure 5) mentioned by journalist Pandžić in his article, i.e. in the document submitted to the Court a day after the stated social contract, to be exact, on November 23, 2006, and in the Ruling of the Commercial Court of November 27, 2006 (enclosure 6), there seems to be a high probability that Tomislav Karamarko first filed a demand for a change of member of the company (based on the social contract by which he transferred his co-ownership share to Ivan Baketa) and then a day after that he withdrew that same demand by the Submission of the proposer, which can still be seen in the Court Ruling.

In support of the stated fact that the stated demand was withdrawn, is the content of the file which shows that in that period the Court didn’t make a ruling regarding the decision on the change of ownership

share based on the earlier demand, instead it just issued a decision that the procedure of registering a change of member of the company in the Court register is suspended.

The Association Partnership for Social Development once again filed a complaint against Tomislav Karamarko for conflict of interest 

Considering that the stated facts substantially change the finding of the Commission for Conflict of Interest of the year 2014, on June 6 this year the association Partnership for Social Development once again filed a complaint to the Commission for possible conflict of interest in the case of the official Tomislav Karamarko (enclosure 7). As it is this time stated in the complaint of the Partnership for Social Development, the earlier finding of the Commission for Conflict of Interest of 2014 is being challenged, i.e. the claim from the Commission’s decision on not initiating the procedure that the official Tomislav Karamarko didn’t have shares in the ownership (share capital) in any of the companies and the institution, that are all stated in the present complaint.

Namely, in the new complaint to the Commission, considering the new documents available at the Commercial Court in Zagreb, it is stated that there is a possibility that the official Tomislav Karamarko untruthfully presented the real ownership structure of the company Soboli. Further, in the complaint it is stated that the file of the company Soboli, i.e. Centar za informatiku i poslovno savjetovanje (Centre for informatics and business consulting) – what its name was changed to after the “Soboli affair” broke out, is chaotic, and it is asked of the Commission that this time around it determine, with due diligence and the help of other authorised institutions, the truthfulness and validity of the documents in the file and their actual legal effect on the (co)ownership share of Tomislav Karamarko in the relevant companies. And finally, it is stressed in the complaint that in light of the new facts, if it were to be confirmed that the suspicions of Partnership for Social Development are correct, there is a real possibility that the official Tomislav Karamarko is still in a co-ownership relation in the company Soboli, i.e. Centre for informatics and business consulting as the company is called after its name and status were changed on March 13, 2012, and the associated companies (namely, the company was adjoined to other legal entities in which, again, the same actors appear as in the earlier legal entities Tomislav Karamarko was connected to.)

We also asked journalist Ivan Pandžić for a statement, primarily in the context of whether reactions from the other side (Tomislav Karamarko, i.e. HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union)) based on his article and if in the meantime HDZ responded to his queries on clarifying all ambiguities connected to Karamarko’s co-ownership in the company Soboli and associated companies.

Pandžić briefly commented for Fairpress:

I tried to get a clarification of the documents I came upon in the Commercial Court from Tomisalv Karamarko i.e. the official channels from HDZ (spokesman Jabuka, author’s note). But as I mentioned in my article, up to its conclusion (Monday, May 30 this year, afternoon) no answer arrived. I can only confirm that no official statement has yet (June 2, 2016) come.

The Fairpress editorial staff also tried to get a hold of Ivan Jabuka – spokesman of HDZ, in order to get a comment on the new findings and the complaint of PDS to the Commission for Conflict of Interest, but up until the conclusion of the article (June 1, evening) the spokesman didn’t answer our calls.

So, according to the latest findings the “Consultant affair” cast new light onto all of the backstage relationships between Josip Petrović and Tomislav Karamarko, which are being much more seriously manifested in the almost forgotten “Soboli affair” than in the “Consultant affair” itself. However, as the First Deputy Prime Minister likes to publicly say – Let the institutions of the law based state do their job, then we shall discuss, although it now seems that for the first time they’ve done a lousy job.

ENCLOSURES (available only in Croatian):

Enclosure 1 Article of journalist Ivan Pandžić entitled “Slučaj Soboli – Još 2005. je radio za Petrovića“, of May 31, 2016

Enclosure 2 Decision of USKOK, Number K-US-6116 of March 7, 2016

Enclosure 3 Contract on the tranfer of business shares Karamarko-Baketa of October 18, 2006

Enclosure 4 Notice of change of members of November 22, 2006

Enclosure 5 Submission of proposer of November 23, 2006

Enclosure 6 Ruling of the Commercial Court in Zagreb of November 27, 2006

Enclosure 7 Complaint submitted to the Commission by PDS of June 1, 2016

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