Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sanader to appear in court

Former Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader should make his first appearance before the Zagreb District Court on Friday, following his extradition from Austria in July.

The court will rule on the first indictment, brought against him by the Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organized Crime (USKOK), which charges him of accepting a HRK 3.6 million (EUR 481,300) bribe from a loan Austrian Hypo Bank approved to Croatia in 1994 and 1995.

The indictment against Sanader is the first in which the criminal offense of abuse of office and authority is tied with the law which abolished the statute of limitations in cases of war profiteering and privatization crimes, a legal principle introduced into the Croatian Constitution last year.

Sanader was later also charged with accepting a EUR 10 million bribe from Hungarian oil company MOL, which took over the majority share in Croatian oil company INA. The parliament will vote Friday to strip Sanader of immunity so that he can be prosecuted on these charges.

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