President: SOA chief has lost my trust


President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said on Wednesday she would not change her position on Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA) chief Dragan Lozancic and her decision to dismiss him.

“Nothing will change my position that Mr Lozancic has simply lost my trust. I cannot discuss reasons for reasons of national security, but as you know, even before the elections I expressed my dissatisfaction with the work and politicisation of our (intelligence) services,” the president told the press after the 8th Better Building Brunch, organised by the Croatia Green Building Council.

Grabar-Kitarovic made her decision last Friday in accordance with the Security and Intelligence System Act, which also requires co-signature by the prime minister. Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic has not co-signed the decision yet.

Grabar-Kitarovic said she was not disappointed that the prime minister had not signed it yet. “The prime minister has the right to think it through, ask around and make an informed decision.”

Asked what she would have done had the prime minister launched such an initiative, the president said that she would have signed the dismissal decision. “Of course, I would have thought it through and asked around. But if the prime minister were to express his dissatisfaction by saying that a person we appointed together no longer enjoyed his trust, I would sign the dismissal decision.”

Oreskovic said in a radio interview on Wednesday morning that as a person from the world of business he would not make any rash decisions, including one on the SOA chief. He also said that he did not feel he had been driven into a corner by the president’s decision.

The SOA and Lozancic were the subject of debate in parliament on Wednesday morning, with MPs from the Bridge party, a junior member of the ruling coalition, saying that they would not support the dismissal until the matter was discussed by the Domestic Policy and National Security Committee, which has not been formed yet.

(Hina) vm