APRIL 26 2009 16:18h
To me, it looks like a professional killing rather than an amateur. Why would someone want to kill Ivana, Hodak said for the NY Times
ZAGREB, CROATIA – The prominent American daily The New York Times published an article about the investigation of the murder of Ivana Hodak in which the author stresses the doubts related to the perpetrator of the monstrous act. The article headlined “Arrest in Croatia Murder Doesn’t Erase All Doubt” brings a detailed description of the circumstances of the young attorney’s murder and connects the case with events two weeks later when Nacional weekly’s journalist Ivo Pukanic and a former employee, Niko Franjic, had been killed by a planted bomb.
The author dubbed the murder of Ivana Hodak as one of the most prominent murders since Croatia’s independence in 1991. During his research for the article, the author spoke with attorney Zvonimir Hodak, Ivana’s father, who revealed that it is doubtful to him that Mladen Slogar killed his daughter to get back at him.
- To me, it looks like a professional killing rather than an amateur. This case has been overshadowed by petty lies. Why would someone want to kill Ivana? Why not kill me instead? – Hodak said for The New York Times.
The article also states that Hodak is convinced that Ivana’s murder is connected with the arrest of his client, retired General Vladimir Zagorec and the author continues to describe extensively the role of Hrvoje Petrac in the whole case.
The author calls Petrac “the most notorious crime boss in Croatia” whose testimony spurred the trial against Zagorec for stealing five million dollars worth of jewels. The daily also states that Ljubo Pavasovic Viskovic, Ivana Hodak’s boyfriend, was Petrac’s defence attorney.
“Member of the Golden Generation”
Apart from speaking with the father of Ivana Hodak, the reporter of The New York Times also spoke with Croatia’s former tennis player, Iva Majoli, who described Ivana as a kind and sincere girl. But the reporter got the impression that Ivana was a member of Croatia’s ‘Golden Generation’ who, although she worked two jobs, was always connected with wealthy and successful men. The reporter wrote about a detail from Ivana’s life when she was offered to travel across South America for several months and sleep under the stars, to which she replied maybe, but only if it was five stars. In the eyes of many Croatians, the class difference could have been the motive for the murder, the reporter wrote.
- Some Croatians suspect that the answer lies in the simmering class resentment that is a legacy of the war here, which left thousands without homes, limbs or jobs. A select few, however, those who had strong ties to the authoritarian government of former President Franjo Tudjman, amassed unimaginable fortunes. The children of these families, including Ms. Hodak, were dubbed the Golden Generation in the Croatian media – the reporter wrote. He added that the murders last October immediately resulted in dismissals at the Interior Ministry and Justice Ministry, and an office to combat organised crime was opened, which resulted on a crackdown on the mafia and arrests.
- The problem with the mafia here is that we are a small country. Criminals, entrepreneurs, politicians, gangsters, old money and new money all hang out in the same places, united by cash, not class – Berislav Jelinic, an editor at the Nacional weekly, told the NY Times, adding that organised crime in Croatia remained widespread and therefore inevitable.