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Croatian ex-defence minister to be charged for fatal crash

Croatia’s sacked defence minister will be charged for causing a traffic accident due to negligence, police said Sunday, after he was involved in a car collision which killed another driver. Mario Banozic, 44, on Saturday was in his private car leaving the town of Vinkovci, 276 kilometres (172 miles) east of the capital Zagreb, when it rammed into a van. Several hours after the collision Banozic, who was rushed to hospital with serious head injuries, was dismissed of his duties by Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic. According to the police, the crash happened after Banozic overtook a truck that was driving in front of him without ensuring first that it could be done in a safe manner. “Due to suspicions that by breaching traffic rules a traffic accident was caused, criminal charges will be filed to the County State Attorney’s Office against a 44-year-old driver,” the Vukovar-Srijem police department said in a statement. According to Croatian law, Banozic who had been defence minister since 2020, faces up to 8 years in prison for causing a traffic accident with fatal consequences.

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