Judge Ivana Parač Krišto has sentenced illegal builder Ante Koić (60) to one year in prison or five years suspended if he does not remove the illegal constructions from Veliko Rujno location in the Velebit Nature Park within five months. The defendant had been building illegally for years in the very heart of Velebit and received high state subsidies for cattle breeding. Despite numerous reports, the inspection found that nine buildings had been built on state land, some of them with three floors.
Koić defended himself by claiming they were cow barns, but never explained the discrepancy in size and the removal of the state seal several times during construction. The defendant pleaded not guilty at the beginning of the trial, but the State Inspectorate and Croatia confirmed the illegal construction.
Ante Milovac, who reported Koić countless times, hopes that the guilty verdict will put an end to the devastation of Velebit. He remains hopeful that the state will finally force Koić to return Veliko Rujno and the Jatara region to as close to their original state as possible. The judge also stated that Koić has to pay court costs in the amount of one hundred euros.