Radimir Cacic resigned on Wednesday after a court in Hungary sentenced him to 22 months in prison for killing two persons in a car accident in January 2010.Cacic crushed a car in Hungary on January 8, 2010, while driving on the Zagreb-Budapest motorway. Two persons died.
In September 2011, a trial against Cacic started in Hungarian city of Kaposvar. Cacic cooperated with the court.
After he became Vice-Prime Minister at the beginning of 2012, he said he would resign if the court handed him an unconditional sentence, meaning if he had to go to jail.
On June 29 this year, the Hungarian court sentenced Cacic to 22 months in prison conditionally, which meant that he would not go to prison if he did not repeat the offence within two years.
But on Wednesday, the appeal court in Hungary changed the sentence, without the possibility of appeal, which means that Cacic will have to go to prison.
Cacic resigned hours after the final verdict was announced.
“The government will miss him very much,” Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said, commenting on his resignation.
Cacic, who also held the post of Economy Minister, was regarded as the top economic expert in the government.
The project of building new highways, which started in 2003, and which by 2007 had resulted in more than 400 kilometers of new highways, was largely his work as minister in the then centre-left government.
Besides his vice-premier’s post, Cacic is president of the Croatian People’s party, HNS, part of the current ruling coalition in Croatia.
Before his political career, he was a succesful businessman.
The government has not announced who will replace Cacic, but unofficial reports suggest that Vesna Pusic, the Foreign Minister and Cacic’s party colleague, will become the HNS president and vice-premier.