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news 09 May 13

New Corruption Charge Hits Croatian Ex-PM Sanader

A fifth corruption indictment has been filed against former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader, who is already serving a ten-year jail sentence for graft.

Boris Pavelic

The new indictment charges ex-premier Sanader with allegedly having forced the state electricity firm, HEP, to supply cheaper electricity to Dioki, a chemical firm owned by his friend, Robert Jezic.

This indictment claims that Dioki illegally earned about 250,000 euro through the corrupt deal, while HEP lost 500,000 euro.

The indictment was initially filed last year, but prosecutors withdrew it for further discussion before it was filed again to the county court in Zagreb on Wednesday.

Sanader was jailed for ten years for corruption in November last year.

He was convicted of taking half a million euro in bribes from Austria's Hypo bank in 1994 in order to allow it to enter the Croatian financial market.

He was also convicted of taking 10 million euro in bribes from the Hungarian oil company MOL, in order to give MOL a dominant position in the Croatian oil company, INA.

The ex-premier is also currently on trial in two other cases - one of which, known as  the ‘Fimi media case’, is the biggest case in Croatian judicial history.

Sanader, his former political party the Croatian Democratic Union and seven other people are charged with withdrawing public money for the party through a marketing agency called Fimi media.

The second current trial is the so-called ‘Planinska case’, named after the building in Zagreb's Planinska Street which was owned by Sanader’s friend and fellow MP Stjepan Fiolic and was sold to the government for 80 million kuna (10 million euro).

The prosecution maintains that Sanader persuaded members of his government to vote for the sale at what is claimed to have been an inflated price.

Prosecutors claim the price was much higher than the building’s true value, and that the state lost the sum of 26 million kuna (three million euro), part of which Sanader took for himself.

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