The first sentence on former Croatian PM Ivo Sanader for taking bribes could be issued by the end of November, the trial chamber presiding Judge Ivan Turudic announced.”The sentence could be issued between November 15 and 20 but it’s not definite yet,” Judge Turudic said at Thursday’s trial session.
Sanader, the former leader of the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, is standing trial for two criminal offences at County Court in Zagreb.
The first is for allegedly taking 3.6 million kuna (500,000 euro) in bribes from Austria’s Hypo Bank in 1995 for enabling it to enter Croatia’s banking market.
The second is for allegedly taking 10 million euro in bribes from the Hungarian oil company MOL, for giving MOL a dominant position in the Croatian oil company, INA.
MOL was a shareholder in INA, but Sanader is accused of giving MOL more authority in the company than its shareholding should have allowed.
The two indictments were consolidated last November, soon after the trial for the Hypo Bank affair started at the end of October 2011.
Sanader is involved in one more trial, together with the HDZ, the party he used to lead, and seven other HDZ officials and enterpreneurs.
They are together charged with illegally drawing millions of euro from public firms and enterprises to support a “slush fund” via a PR firm, Fimi media, by which the case was then named.
The “Fimi media” trial started in April and is expected to end in at least a year.
One more indictment was filed against Sanader, in which he and two senior HDZ officials were charged with selling a building, which one of them built, to the government for a much higher price.
At least one more investigation against Sanader is on-going.