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Croatia: Ex-premier gets 6 years for abuse of office

Former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader gets prison for taking bribes from Hungary's MOL in energy deal

Talha Ozturk   | 30.12.2019
Croatia: Ex-premier gets 6 years for abuse of office

BELGRADE, Serbia

A former Croatian prime minister on Monday was sentenced to six years in prison for abuse of office.

The Zagreb Canton Court ruled that Ivo Sanader, who served from 2003 to 2009, took bribes in the process of acquiring Croatia's INA-Industrija nafte, d.d. a medium-sized Croatian oil firm, by Hungarian oil and gas company MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Plc.

The court also sentenced Zsolt, CEO of the Hungarian firm, to two years in prison for bribing the former premier to make the company the key decision-maker in the Croatian state-run energy firm.

MOL is currently the biggest but not the majority shareholder in the firm.

Judge Maja Stampar said that Sanader had told Hernadi that he would vote in favor of MOL's takeover of INA for €10 million and abused his office.

The court also ordered Sanader to give the state half of the bribe he received.

The verdict was announced in absentia.

Sandader has recently undergone surgery while Hernadi is not in the country.

The ruling is not final and can be appealed. MOL owns close to 50% of INA, while Zagreb owns some 45%.

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