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Journalist gets death threat

June 18, 2006

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ZAGREB, June 17: A local journalist has received death threats due to his report on a World Cup ticketing fraud in which he said some 1,000 Croatians living in Germany were cheated, his daily said on Saturday.

“Stipe Pudja, editor of the Vecernji List daily foreign edition who lives in Frankfurt, has received text messages in which he is threatened with death,” the paper said in a statement.

His family in Croatia was also threatened, it added.

Pudja's report, published earlier this week, was on a World Cup ticketing fraud affair in which it claimed at least 1,000 Croatians living in Germany are believed to have been cheated, the statement said.

The fraud was carried out by people who were presenting themselves as officials of Croatia's national football association and were taking money for World Cup tickets which they never delivered, the Vecernji List reported.

In the article, the journalists mentioned notably Kreso Kraljevic from Zagreb, who allegedly took money from at least 200 people, and from whose mobile phone the threatening text messages were sent.

Pudja informed both Croatian and German police about the threats and filed a complaint against Kraljevic.

Zagreb police said they had launched an investigation.

World Cup tickets were allocated to each of the 32 participating nations, which are supposed to return unsold tickets to the German organisers so they can be sold to the general public.—AFP