Zagreb, 19 February 2020 (Hina/MIA) – Croatia’s Chief State Prosecutor Drazen Jelenic, who was appointed to this post on 24 April 2018, on Wednesday sent a request to the government for his resignation, after his membership of the Freemasonry organisation elicited strong criticism.
Jelenic issued a press release in which he underscores that since the first day of his appointment as the chief state prosecutor he had performed his duty “with pride, unfailing commitment, professionally and in a fair manner,” as well in compliance with the Croatian Constitution and laws, preserving the independence of the state prosecutorial authorities.
He also comments on the latest insinuations in connection with his membership of a masonic lodge.
“That membership of a legal association has in no way impacted the performance of my duties,” Jelenic insists, adding that on the other hand, those growing insinuations have made it very difficult for him to continue performing the duty of the Chief State Prosecutor in the future.
In the current circumstances, my resignation is “the only moral and responsible solution”, he says.
The topic of Jelenic’s membership in a masonic lodge appeared in the media after Jelenic himself confirmed that he was a Freemason and accused doctor Nikica Gabric of having tried to influence a preliminary investigation into three reporters who allegedly blackmailed that ophatalmologist, demanding that he give them HRK 200,000 or they would publish photographs of a ceremony of the Masonic lodge to which he (Gabric) belongs. As soon as Jelenic made that statement, Gabric dismissed it as false.
However, the exchange of accusations between Jelenic and Gabric and the fact that Jelenic failed to inform the government that he was a Freemason when he had been nominated for the post of the Chief State Prosecutor prompted the authorities and politicians to criticise Jelenic’s behaviour.
Earlier on Wednesday Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said that if Jelenic did not step down of his own accord, the government would tomorrow put forward the proposal to the parliament for his dismissal.
President Zoran Milanovic said that everyone who was a member of a Masonic association and was doing a public job or was a public official, notably in law enforcement, was unnecessarily bringing into question their objectivity and loyalty.
Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic underscored that during his appointment Chief State Prosecutor Drazen Jelenic failed provide any information on his membership of Freemasonry, and added that this was a case of dual loyalty.