Croatia charges top military spies for embezzlement

A former head of Croatia's military intelligence agency, his deputy and three employees have been charged with the embezzlement of almost 700,000 euros, prosecutors said Thursday.

The national anti-graft bureau said in a statement it had charged the employees "for abuse of power ... since they have embezzled at least five million kunas ($945,000) from the agency's funds for special purposes."

The money was embezzled between 2009 and 2012 and two of the suspects had tried to cover up the crime by ordered official documents to be destroyed, the statement said.

The statement identified those charged by their initials only, however local media identified the former chief of the VSOA military intelligence agency Lieutenant General Darko Grdic as one of the suspects.

Grdic headed VSOA from 2008 until mid-2012, when he was named to a top defence ministry position. He was also Croatia's representative to NATO from 2003 to 2007.

The fight against corruption and organised crime was a key condition that Croatia had to meet to join the European Union on July 1.