Owner claims arrested executives of Croatia's Agrokor 'did nothing wrong'

Owner claims arrested executives of Croatia's Agrokor 'did nothing wrong' Ivica Todoric

ZAGREB (Croatia), October 18 (SeeNews) - Ivica Todoric, owner of Croatia's troubled concern Agrokor, has called Monday's arrests of senior members of the concern's managerial staff a political show for the public directed by state officials of the highest level.

“Twelve top business people have been arrested, people who, I assure you again, did absolutely nothing wrong,” Todoric said in a post on his blog late on Tuesday - his first since the arrests.

“If there is any responsibility, and I'm sure there is not, it is exclusively mine”, Todoric added.

He claimed the arrests are a screen for unspecified crimes committed via the 'unconstitutional Lex Agrokor' which is doing 'incredible harm' to the Croatian economy and the state.

The government stepped in to prevent the collapse of Croatia's largest privately held company in April 2017, appointing a receiver under a special law governing the management of systemically important companies. Todoric was stripped of his managerial rights under the law popularly known as Lex Agrokor but remains owner of the indebted concern.

Todoric also claimed that Croatia's minister of the interior was allegedly involved in a ploy to cover-up wrongdoings of government officials and reiterated his intention to take legal action against all those currently involved in running Agrokor, including receiver Ante Ramljak and members of the government.

On Tuesday, 12 of Todoric’s closest associates were questioned by police as part of a probe of suspected abuse of trust in business operations, forging of official documents and failure to keep business records in Agrokor. Todoric and his sons were reportedly in London, having escaped arrest.

Todoric's lawyer Cedo Prodanovic told the media on Tuesday that his client was "abroad as his children are employed there".

"He will be back when necessary," Cedo Prodanovic said, adding that his client still hasn't been summoned to a court hearing by the Chief State Prosecutor's Office (DORH).

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