JULY 11 2008 02:46h
Who is Jelavic? The successor to Zlatko Bagaric and Zagreb’s underground throne or respected businessman that legally supports his family.
Nikica Jelavic (38) called Boxer, was born in Gabela near Capljine. He finished high school and served his compulsory military service in Sarajevo. After serving in the army, Jelavic was a boxer for a while in the club “Metalac”, and this is why he gained the nickname “Boxer”. During the eighties, he mainly worked as a bouncer at various discos, and during the nineties he started to trade money. Today, he lives with his wife and three children in a villa worth a few million kuna in Zagreb’s Cmrok.
After the death of Zlatko Bagaric, Jelavic was called upon as the suspected successor to Bagaric’s criminal organization, and it is no secret that both of them were godfathers, and that they have always been very close. Shortly after Lazar Rodic killed the “big boss” of Zagreb’s underground in front of a café bar in the suburb of Dubrava, it is considered that Jelavic took over his business.
Clash of clans: Slisko-Jelavic
On the other hand, meaning opposition to Jelavic, is Vjeko Slisko, a man that the media said was the only person that could stand up to Bagaric’s clan.
Slisko slowly built his business with games machines, and started gathering an increasing number of supporters. Allegedly, Slisko started endangering the business that Jelavic was a successor to, and people from Bagaric’s clan were convinced that Slisko order the murder of Damir Dzebe. It was Jelavic who was a suspect for the attempted murder of Slisko at the start of 1995. At the time, unknown perpetrators fired automatic weapons at Vjeko Slisko and Juraj Dodic on Maksimir Street. Slisko was seriously injured in the shooting, and the first suspect to be arrested was Nikica Jelavic. However, due to a lack of evidence, he was soon freed of charges.
Jelavic was in a similar position after another attempted murder on Vjeko lisko in 1999, after which followed the spectacular arrest of the criminal organization, the infamous “boys from Knezija”.
He was accused of firing a handheld rocket (zolja) towards Slisko’s bullet-proof jeep in front of the cultural-information centre in Preradoviceva Street in the centre of Zagreb. The projectile, probably because of the close distance it was fired from, bounced off the car and hit the passer by Zoran Dominij in the stomach. Domini died instantly.
Jelavic was put on trial, a detailed reconstruction of the event was carried out, but he was released again.
The fall of the “boys from Knezija”
After the death of an innocent passer by, the Croatian police embarked on the largest arrest mission on Zagreb’s underground. The morning after the rocket attack in the centre of Zagreb, the following people were arrested: Nikica Jelavic (37), Rajko Momcilovic Riba (31), Velibor Momcilovic Lola (26), Davor Zecevic Zec (32), Djordje Vuletic Djoko (37), Tvrtko Tomicic Tvrdi (38), Radovan Stetic (40) and Miroslav Vukovic Olio (40). They were all considered to be members of Bagaric’s clan. Jelavic was freed of all charges just like many from the “criminal organization”, and he even filed a law suit against Croatia for the time he spent in confinement.
It is interesting to mention that after the boys from Knezija were arrested, Slisko told the press on one occasion that he does not know anybody from that group of people, and that he has absolutely nothing against them, and that he would not recognize Nikica Jelavic if they met on the street. In an attempt to explain to the police why there have been four attempted murders on him, Slisko said that it does not have anything to do with crime. Slikso gave the inspector an counter question “They shot at the Pope, does that mean that he is a criminal?”.
From a coffin for Franjo Tudjman to a building in Laniste
Jelavic has also been charged with other things besides running a criminal organization, for which 20 criminal acts are tied. He has been charged with the extortion of four million kuna from Vladimir Hartek and 20 million kuna from the company Kombial, which is owned by Ivan Majher, as well as hundreds of thousands of kuna from the doctor Boris Ljahnicky, which he carried out with his alleged partners Blaz Petrovic and Zoran Pripuz. Jelavic held the company “Palma” with Pripuz, which works with funeral services. Certain sources have given information that says that Franjo Tudjman’s coffin was ordered from Jelavic’s company.
Jelavic was arrested yesterday in Slovenia for deceit in a court proceeding in Germany. According to Interpol, he is also wanted for theft and an illegal stay. Now Jelavic has turned to construction work. According to Globus, he has the main word as far as the construction of the new neighbourhood in Laniste is concerned, which is located next to the Zagreb’s future Arena (sports hall). He is also into a management job by controlling the career of his nephew and former player for the Hajduk football club, Nikica Jelavic.However, now the uncrowned king of Zagreb’s underground will delay his business plans in Croatia, because he will probably face a two month stay in a Slovenian prison, after which he will move to the interior of Germany’s justice system.