Friday, March 05, 2004

New Generations

One week ago the hottest media story in Croatia was spectacular kidnapping of 17-year old Tomislav Zagorec in Zagreb. The public was informed about it only after the youth's release and allegedly some 750.000 € being paid to kidnapers. The media, which had followed police recommendations and kept the lid on the case, was awarded by series of press conferences detailing the arrests of the kidnappers' gang which included 21-year old Novica Petrač (Novica Petrac). Some of the gang members are at large, some are silent, while some turned informers. According to information gathered by Croatian media, the gang had planned to conduct other spectacular kidnappings, directed at the children of Ivica Todorić (Ivica Todoric) and other members of Croatian business elite.

The most interesting detail about this case is in the names of the victim and alleged kidnapper. Tomislav Zagorec is son of Vladimir Zagorac, retired Croatian Army general and Zagreb businessman who has recently been assaulted by unknown attackers at his home. Novica Petrač is son of Hrvoje Petrač (Hrvoje Petrac), controversial Zagreb businessman burdened with media speculations about his association with one of Zagreb's organised crime factions.

In the meantime, Zagreb Police District has issued January 2004 crime data that show 50% rise of violent crimes (murders, armed robberies, assaults etc.) compared to January 2003. Today's Feral Tribune in its article tries to interpret that alarming news with post-election chaos within Croatian law enforcement services – old officials were sacked, while the new still have to learn the ropes.


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