Miroslav Kutle (born October 6, 1957) is a Bosnian Croat entrepreneur. He became notorious for his involvement in the Croatian privatization controversy and was since sentenced to jail time for embezzlement on two occasions.
In 1989 he founded UTP Globus, and in 1992 Globus Holdings, later to become Globus Group d.o.o. (Globus Grupa). In 1992, he was voted Manager of the Year (Small Businesses) by CROMA, The Croatian Managers Association
Privatization and controversy
The rapid expansion of Kutle's business empire took place during the years following the independence of the new Republic of Croatia. Previously State-owned and run businesses were privatized, in what has become a controversial process. The relationship between Kutle, the then President Franjo Tudjman, the ruling HDZ party and the non-transparency of the transactions has come under scrutiny in the Croatian courts a number of times since 2000.
In 1999, the Croatian Privatization Fund (Croatian: Hrvatski fond za privatizaciju, a government agency formed for the purpose of privatizing state-owned businesses) confiscated the companies Diona, Jadrantekstil and Koteks, while Tisak and Slobodna Dalmacija were removed by court decisions.
In 2000, following the death of Tudjman, a new coalition government took over and started investigating corruption in the previous administration. Miroslav Kutle was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for his role in the embezzlement of Tisak. In 2004, the conviction was reversed by the Zagreb County Court.
In June 2009, Kutle was again jailed by the first-instance court in Zagreb for a period of three years, for his involvement in the mismanagement of another company that had just been privatized, "Gradski podrum", in 1992.
- Kutle, Miroslav, Hrvatski Leksikon (in Croatian) I, Zagreb: Naklada Leksikon d.o.o., 1996, p. 668, ISBN 953-96728-1-3
- "Miroslav Kutle" (in Croatian). Retrieved 12 June 2010.
- Jurica Pavičić (2009-06-20). "Glembajevski baruni oko nas". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 2010-06-14.
Miroslava Kutlu, prvog i najslavnijeg među prinčevima hrvatske pretvorbe [...] čovjek koji je do te mjere obilježio hrvatske devedesete da tu epohu bez skanjivanja smijemo zvati Kutlino doba
- "Overview of the winners of annual awards HUM-CROMA 1992-2001" (in Croatian). HUM-CROMA. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
- Croatian Privatization Fund Official website (English)
- Djikic, Ivica (2 February 1999). "The Epilogue of the Story of Kutle". Zagreb: AIM. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
- Jelinić, Berislav (29 May 2002). "Kutle, Grubišić and Gucić: targets of the State Audit". Zagreb: Nacional (weekly). Archived from the original on 25 July 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
The findings of the State Audit which reviewed the first 100 privatized companies, showed that 80 of those companies had elements of irregularity or illegality. This is the first serious attempt to fight privatization crime.
- Jelenic, Bereslav (13 July 2004). "Kutle's Conviction is an Introduction to a New Investigation Against the Grupo Media Cartel". Zagreb: Nacional. Archived from the original on 25 July 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
In her ruling, Judge Bumči stated that Miroslav Kutle and the other accused had committed several felonies, damaging Tisak by 44 million kuna. They extracted money out of the company in the form of loans which Tisak granted to other companies, which was never intended to be returned.
- "Miroslav Kutle pušten iz pritvora" [Miroslav Kutle Released from Prison] (in Croatian). Zagreb: Vijesti.net. 13 July 2004. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
- "Kutle nepravomoćno osuđen na tri godine zatvora". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). 2009-06-18. Retrieved 2010-06-14.