Klemm's co-defendant reaches plea bargain with prosecutors

Leonard Valent, a co-defendant in an indictment against the owner of the Klemm Security company and leader of the war veterans' Special Police Association, Josip Klemm, who is charged with having siphoned close to three million kuna from his company with the help of several other persons and with tax fraud in the amount of HRK 593,000, made a plea-bargain with the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor on Monday and was sentenced to community service.

The indictment against Klemm and Valent, accused of murky financial dealings in the period from 2005 to 2007, was upheld in late 2015 by the Zagreb County Court after Radovan Stetic, Hrvoje Zorovac, Tomislav Matanic and Silvio Golubovac pleaded guilty to the charges and were sentenced after plea-bargaining with the prosecution.

The best known among Klemm's associates, Stetic, was a suspect in a case against a Zagreb criminal organisation in the 1990s and was later prosecuted in a fraud case in which one of the suspects was the son of the Zagreb police director Sasa Burusic.

Klemm is charged with masterminding the unauthorised payment of his company's money to himself. Klemm Security made payments to other companies which in turn made payments to Klemm based on invoices for services which he had never rendered.

The prosecution alleges that to that end, Stetic conspired with the other indictees so that they could set up and become directors of several companies which, by issuing Stetic with fictitious invoices, helped him carry out the conspiracy with Klemm.

By acting alone or in collusion with the indicted directors of said companies, Stetic allegedly took out money for fictitious services and gave it to Klemm, who the prosecution claims gained more than HRK 2.8 million that way.

The prosecution also alleges that Klemm ordered payments for non-existing services to two more companies and eventually defrauded his company of more than HRK 2.9 million.

Klemm, one of the leaders of a year-long war veterans' protest sit-in outside the War Veterans Affairs Ministry in Zagreb, is also charged with defrauding the state budget of more than HRK 593,000 in income tax.

Last update: Mon, 08/02/2016 - 22:05

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