Niko Marušić, the current director of the HNC Environmental Protection Fund, the founder of the Marinada company from Mostar, which received generous funds also from the HNC Government is the subject of a legal battle of two businessmen from Zagreb. He was first charged with forgery and embezzlement, and now they plan to sue him.
One is his uncle, and the other is his uncle’s attorney, Nikola Perica.
Namely, Marušić’s uncle, who has worked for the food industry in Croatia for more than half a century, takes a huge loan from Banka Celje with the aim of investing in his native Herzegovina, says the Zagreb duo. Given the reputation of his uncle in Zagreb, Banka Celje gives him considerable credit funds, which he lends to his brother’s son in Herzegovina with the intention of starting a business.
However, he reached old age, with nothing from the business and money.
Namely, Marušić borrowed money from his own uncle. In 2006, he signed a loan agreement for 6.9 million KM. At the same time, my uncle’s security instrument was a mortgage registered on land in Pijesci, Gubavica, and Kruševo (among others which include the land where the famous, never-finished tomato factory was started, which included Podravka). Uncle and MP Perica claim that when he saw that he could not fulfill the contractual obligations, Marušić forged documentation and deleted his uncle from the mortgage, which is the subject of criminal charges filed with the HNC Prosecutor’s Office last summer.
On July 1, 2021, according to his attorney Nikola Perica, his uncle filed a criminal complaint with the HNC Prosecutor’s Office for forging documents.
In accordance with the provisions of the FBiH Criminal Procedure Code and the FBiH Criminal Code, the applicant Nikola Perica initiates, ie requests to initiate criminal proceedings against Niko Marušić because of committing the criminal offenses of “forgery of a document”, “special cases of forgery of a document” and “certification of false content”, are stated in the criminal report.
“(Uncle) Marušić on December 21, 2016, certified his signature on a document with the notary Boris Zdunić in Gospić, which reads:
“Consent to register the Development Bank of the Federation of BiH on the first place of the pledge debtor on the real estate marked as cp 357/40 Kruševo, and the same document is certified under number OV.5731 / 16″, it is further stated in the application. However, a completely different document was submitted to the Land Registry Office, and not the one that was certified in Gospić.
“The uncles forged statement from 21.12.2016, Niko Marušić certified with notary Ruža Čarapina. Based on forged documents, changes have occurred in legal transactions and public registers and books, it is stated, among other things, in the criminal report.
The uncle’s attorney from Zagreb, Nikola Perica, says that the intention was to wait for time to do its thing, since he is old, he is already 82 years old. We also talked to him. With great difficulty and with the last atoms of his strength, he wants the situation in Herzegovina to be resolved, and he places all his hope in Perica. He says that “Not only did they deceive him, but also robbed him and made him poor, destroyed him to the end, that today in his late years there is nothing from all his honest work”.
“You saw in the contract, you were given the original, how much he was obligated to pay me in 2006. Then he racketeered me for the next 16 years. It’s three to four times more money than he was obliged to pay according to the contract. He is a great master of racketeering, he doesn’t know how to do anything else. He did it masterfully until he destroyed my family and me and my health in the hope that I would die and all that would remain would go to him,” states the uncle.
Uncle begs that his name is not mentioned in the article, because he is in a difficult condition and could not mentally endure the media exposure, and he is willing to certify his statement at the bottom of our portal with a notary.
He says that the plan was to take 500 hectares of land on the right side of the Neretva, 150-200 hectares on the left, and 300 hectares in the vicinity of Stolac.
“I walked all those plots with my foot, I knew where it was. I have it all in writing. He promised to take care of it all, and I lived in the dreams of everything that would be there. He would send me some co-investors every two months and tell me they would be coming into business with us. However, when they came to me, and I have been a leader all my life, I saw that these people had no idea. He sent me people from the streets and cafes. He never sent a capable man. Then I sent people from Slovenia, who saw the papers with me and decided to enter the business in Herzegovina. The three of them went to Nika’s, and on their return, they said that they would not work with that man”, states the uncle. He says that in those years, while he believed in business in Herzegovina, he covered 100,000 kilometers.
When asked if he believes he can return the money he invested, to leave something for his grandchildren, he replied that he believes in Peric. Perica, on the other hand, hopes that he will finish the job in Herzegovina.
“I bought it all, everything is mine, I have the documentation, so I can stand before God and before the Pope and in every court. They thought I wasn’t there, when his uncle got sick, they thought about taking it all for themselves. Niko thought about cheating his own uncle, but he didn’t know that I was in on it”, says Perica. He points out that he inquired well, that he was acting on the America-Croatia route, and decided to fight legally.
“I filed a criminal complaint, but we couldn’t get a land registry excerpt for a long time, when it was all networked. You don’t have the papers there on the basis of which they signed up. For two years we could not get land registry excerpts. Then I went to the American Embassy in Sarajevo and everything started when the anti-corruption team arrived”, Perica said. He points out that he reported the embezzlement to the president of the Croatian HDZ, Andrej Plenković, but also to the president of the HDZ BiH, Dragan Čović, but that there was no use.
“I told Čović and Plenković that it was forged and they again laid the foundation stone for Podravka. However, Podravka realized that there were big scams and they gave up on that cooperation. I proved everything to them. They examined them all, examined them themselves, and confirmed that they were giving up. The late Ljubo Bešlić called me before his death, there were two other witnesses with me, and Perica told me – don’t be angry with me, I had to give a building permit even though I was not allowed to, Niko was sent to me by Čović, he is my political boss and what was I supposed to do at that time. I told him that I was not angry. According to all laws, when there is a mortgage on the plot, it cannot be divided”, Perica explains further.
He points out that Niko Marušić’s embezzlement went so far as to bring his uncle 5 thousand euros in the name of a debt of almost seven million KM, so they left space in front and added the number fifty so that it would turn out that 505 thousand euros were returned. However, the real truth, claims Perica, is that only 40,000 euros were returned to the uncle and that Miroslav Kutle, a fugitive from the Croatian judiciary, who was in the game with Marušić, also played a role. Prosecutor Branka Krtalić received a criminal complaint against Marušić.
Marušić, on the other hand, claims that after the report of the above-mentioned two, an investigation was conducted against him, and the investigation was suspended.
“Regarding your inquiries, we would like to inform you that an investigation has been conducted against me following the report of the above persons and that the competent prosecutor’s office has issued an order suspending the investigation stating that there is no evidence that I committed the extended criminal offense of fraud, forgery, certification of false content or any other criminal offense, which the Prosecutor’s Office monitors ex officio. Since it is a matter of family relations, we ask you for professionalism, to be a media that works in the best interests of children, families, and economic development. We note that the publication of unverified and untrue information can affect all three mentioned target groups”, pointed out Marušić.
He also points out that he supports investigative journalism, although no one has specifically asked him about it.
“We fully support investigative journalism that makes a crucial contribution to freedom of expression, media development, and social progress, believing that a passion for truth will not lead journalists to present untrue facts that could harm the honor and reputation of the person they write about, their family and work”, said Marušić, without actually answering any of the questions asked – is it true that he borrowed 6.9 million KM from his own uncle in 2006, which he never returned, is it true that he forged documents and took his uncle out of the mortgage on land Kruševo, Gubavica, Pijesci, he knows that his uncle, according to his attorney Nikola Perica, filed a criminal complaint against him with the HNC Prosecutor’s Office for forging documents. Otherwise, Marušić should know that the phrase untrue fact does not exist, since a fact as undeniable and true, cannot be untrue. Or can it be that in this story it can!?
Indeed, the HNC Prosecutor’s Office also confirms that the investigation has been suspended.
“Regarding your inquiry, and after consulting with the acting prosecutor, we can inform you that the County Prosecutor’s Office of HNC Mostar on July 2, 2021, received a criminal complaint from GM from Zagreb filed by a proxy of NP from Zagreb, against NM from Mostar due to suspicion that committed the criminal offenses of “forgery of a document”, “special cases of forgery of a document”, and “certification of false content”, and that a case was formed on the basis of the same. In this criminal case, the Prosecutor’s Office conducted a series of investigative actions, including graphological expertise, examination of several witnesses, examination of suspects, and obtaining extensive material documentation, both in BiH and abroad. Following the investigation, an order was issued to suspend the investigation against NM from Mostar, as there is no evidence that he committed the extended criminal offense of “fraud”, the extended criminal offense of “forgery of a document” and the extended criminal offense of “certifying false content”, nor any other criminal offense, which the Prosecutor’s Office monitors ex officio. All persons provided for in the Criminal Procedure Code of the FBiH were informed of this decision, and the injured party and the applicant were instructed to have the right to file a complaint against this decision with the Prosecutor’s Office within 8 (eight) days of receiving the suspension notice. Also, if this Prosecutor’s Office finds new evidence that indicates that there is a reasonable suspicion that the suspect committed a criminal offense, the investigation, in this case, may be reopened,” said the spokesperson of the Prosecutor’s Office Ana Rajič.
Perica says that they do not trust the judicial authorities in Mostar, and that, regardless of the decision of the HNC Prosecutor’s Office, they will file lawsuits against Marušić, as well as all others involved in the fraud over money, land, and cadastre. He will ask for the disqualification of the HNC Prosecutor’s Office, as well as the local courts, and submit the applications in Sarajevo.
“We intended to prosecute, but it’s not working, so I’ll file lawsuits,” says Perica. He claims that due to the persistence in resolving this case, they are experiencing threats, and unknown cars are honking their horns around the apartment at night.