Croatia ex-PM’s conviction confirmed

Comment on this story
iol news pic Sanader Croatia AP FILE - Croatia's former prime minister Ivo Sanader appearing in court in Zagreb, for the opening of a corruption trial. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

Zagreb - Croatia's Supreme Court has confirmed a guilty verdict against former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader for taking a bribe from Hungarian oil group MOL in exchange for allowing it a dominant position in Croatian oil firm INA.

The ruling will not automatically annul a disputed INA shareholder agreement that Zagreb and MOL reached in 2009, but may serve as a legal basis for Croatia to start a new court process to render it null and void. The government was not available for an immediate comment.

The ruling was confirmed by Zagreb county court spokesman Kresimir Devcic.

“The Supreme Court has modified the original verdict to eight years and six months,” Devic told state radio.

The Zagreb County Court originally sentenced Sanader to 10 years in prison in 2012. The court said this week it would try in absentia MOL chairman Zsolt Hernadi on the same charge, after Hungary refused to allow his questioning, citing national interests.

Sanader, Hernadi and MOL have all denied the charge.

Relations between Croatia and MOL have been strained in recent years. Zagreb accuses MOL of failing to make agreed investments in its biggest utility. MOL complains about red tape and the government's failure take over INA's loss-making gas- trading business as promised.

Both sides last year began separate arbitration procedures before international courts.

Croatia also wants a bigger say in INA's decision-making. MOL has rejected giving up management control in INA and repeatedly said it was ready to sell its stock if no agreement with Zagreb was reached.

Talks between the two shareholders on improving their partnership started in September but have made little headway so far. The last round of talks was held in early May and no timetable has been set for a new round.


sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines