Peratović also said that Šafar was interested in his writing regarding the case of Perković and said that that wasn’t important, that nothing will come of it. He also emphasized that at the beginning of June Željko Šafar came upon Franjo Požgaj in his neighbourhood and jestingly told him to watch out because there are two bearded men are awaiting him at the store.
The Municipal State’s Attorney office of Karlovac filed criminal charges against Željko Šafar and Alen Horvat because they threatened a witness in the case of the attempted murder of investigative journalist Željko Peratović. The aforementioned persons are being charged for the intimidation of Franjo Požgaj, witness to the physical attack of Peratović which happened in late May of 2015 in the village Luka Pokupska. The suspects in the attack that happened seven months ago are Vladimir Čunko, his namesake son and Zihnija Grahović who were initially charged with attempt to inflict serious physical injuries. Only after the prosecution accepted Peratović’s charge for attempted murder, a more serious qualification of the felony was realised.
The Municipal State’s Attorney office confirmed the indictment:
Regarding your query, we hereby inform you that upon completion of investigations and evidence gathering, the Municipal State’s Attorney Office of Karlovac has brought forward the indictment before the Municipal court of Karlovac against Croatian citizen (1969) on reasonable suspicion that he committed the criminal offense of making threats under Article 139 paragraph 1 and 3 of Criminal Code/11 to the detriment of journalist Željko Peratović and Croatian citizen (1976) because of reasonable suspicion that he committed the criminal offense of making threats under Article 139 paragraph 2 of the aforementioned code, also to the detriment of the aforementioned journalist.
For Fairpress, Željko Peratović commented on the background of the whole case, pointing out that the conversation with Željko Šafar, administrative officer in the City Administration and Head of the Municipal Board Rečica and President of the Firefighting Association of Karlovac in front of witnesses, on 15 July 2015, made him even more confident that the attack that occurred on 28 July 2015 was contracted by a third party, i.e. that it had nothing to do with revenge of the suspects due to his writing (as the deputy of the County State’s Attorney, Mladen Krajačić, stated for Hina on 31 July).
After the publishing of the aforementioned statement of the State’s Attorney’s office for Hina, Vladimir Čunko Jr, Zihnija Grahović and their “persuader” Vladimir Čunko Sr. headed in my direction to finish me off. I presume that Čunko senior organized both attacks, something that Željko Šafar could know more about.
In the Annex of the criminal charge of 24 June 2015, Peratović explained that the conflict with Šafar has been lasting since spring of 2014 when Peratović wrote on his Facebook profile that someone from Rečica is throwing firecrackers into the river Kupa. Šafar then “jockingly” accused Peratović and Požgaj for fish theft. Peratović also said that Šafar was interested in his writing regarding the case of Perković and said that that wasn’t important, that nothing will come of it. He also emphasized that at the beginning of June Željko Šafar came upon Franjo Požgaj in his neighbourhood and jestingly told him to watch out because there are two bearded men are awaiting him at the store.
The motives of the persons accused for intimidating the witness are still unknown as the investigation is still ongoing and the nature of the relationship between the accused and the suspects for the attack on the journalist remains to be seen.
Attackers on Peratović were set free the next day after the attack and continued to criminal activities of illegal exploitation of gravel and sand on river Kupa.
Peratović says that for now he has no evidence to connect Šafar and Horvat to the attack on him. For Fairpress he reflected on the threats to the key witness:
Even though I am a pessimist regarding the system, the raised indictment is an encouraging step for my case. From the court I expect the listing of phone numbers of Željko Šafar and the attackers. It’s obvious that the cases are connected and that this is all about intimidation.
To recall, on 28 May 2015 around 7 p.m., Željko Peratović was physically attacked on the estate owned by his wife in Luka Pokupska by, to him at the time, unknown persons without any direct or indirect reason, during which he sustained severe physical injuries.
Three days after the attack Peratović filed a complaint to the State’s Attorney Office and other competent institutions on the unprofessional conduct of the police, expressing suspicion that someone ordered his intimidation that resulted in attempted murder.
On Monday 15 June, Peratović also filed criminal charges at the County State’s Attorney Office in Karlovac for soliciting to murder and attempted murder against the known perpetrators.
Furthermore, The County State’s Attorney office accepted the criminal charge for the attempted murder of Peratović and based on the charge made the decision on conducting an investigation. The investigation showed that regarding the case of the attack on Željko Peratović, it is a matter of criminal charges on the attempt to inflict serious bodily injuries. The perpetrators are suspected of committing a crime against life and limb, i.e. attempted murder.