Former Prime Minister Sanader found guilty of war profiteering, sentenced to 2.5 years in jail



Zagreb, 221018.
Izricanje nepravomocne presude bivsem premijeru Ivi Sanaderu za ratno profiterstvo u aferi Hypo na Zupanijskom sudu.
Na fotografiji: Ivo Sanader u sudnici na izricanju presude.
Foto: Goran Mehkek / CROPIX
Goran Mehkek / HANZA MEDIA

Ivo Sanader listening to the verdict

Former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader was found guilty of war profiteering at the Zagreb County Court, and sentenced to two and a half years in prison. He was acquitted in a a second case due to death of only witness against him.

Former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader was found guilty at the Zagreb County Court today of taking a commission in the restarted trial in the Hypo case.

He was sentenced to two years and six months for abuse of position as Deputy Foreign Minister and war profiteering, and has to return HRK 3.6 million.

In the Hypo case, the Office for Fight Against Corruption and Organized Crime (USKOK) accused Sanader of receiving a commission worth HRK 3.6 million from Austrian Hypo bank in mid-90es as then Deputy Foreign Minister for raising a loan for Croatian embassies.

He was accused of abuse of position and authority as well as war profiteering. At the first trial, Sanader was found guilty at end 2012 and sentenced to three and half years in prison, with the Supreme Court shortening the sentence six months. However, the Constitutional Court overturned the final ruling, noting that the issue of statute of limitations and war profiteering were not explained sufficiently.

Second case, DIOKI

In the second case, the State Attorney's Office in Zagreb accused Sanader and entrepreneur Robert Ježić of enticing former Hrvatska elektroprivreda (HEP) power utility CEO, late Ivan Mravak to sell electricity at lower prices to Ježić's companies Dioki and Dina in 2008 and 2009, which was against regulations.

According to prosecutors, this caused damage of some HRK 3.8 million to the HEP. The loan worth HRK 15 million that the HEP approved to Dioki and delayed repayment even though HEP was facing financial difficulties at the time is included in the indictment. The process has been "on hold" for a long time due to Ivan Mravak as well as Robert Ježić's health issues.

Sanader was acquitted today in the DIOKI case, as only the testimony of late HEP CEO Mravak tied Sanader to the case, and the defense was not able to question Mravak, which made his pre-recorded testimony unadmissible as evidence.

Third case, Planinska

There is one other first-instance ruling against Ivo Sanader. He was found guilty in the Planinska case in April last year, sentenced to four and half years in prison and ordered to return HRK 17.5 million. Sanader was found guilty in line with USKOK's accusation that he "helped" former Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) MP Stjepan Fiolić to sell the building in Planinska Street in Zagreb to the Ministry of Regional Development at price significantly higher than market average. This caused damage of some HRK 15 million to State budget and Sanader received commission of 10 million and EUR 1 million from Fiolić according to the ruling. Besides Sanader, Fiolić was convicted, who admitted everything and blamed Sanader, as was former Minister of Regional Development Petar Čobanković. The ruling of the Supreme Court on filed appeals still has not come.

Case 4, Fimi media

In the Fimi media scandal, Ivo Sanader and others are accused of extracting funds from State-owned companies through the Fimi media PR agency, which ended up along with unregistered donations in HDZ's black fund. The first trial ended in 2014 in conviction. Sanader was sentenced to nine years in prison and ordered to return RHK 15.2 million that he acquired illegally. However, one year later, the Supreme Court overturned the first-instance ruling and ordered a retrial. The process was repeated and entered the final stages, but came to a halt recently due to serious health issues of Fimi media owner Nevenka Jurak.

Case 5, INA-MOL

In the INA-MOL scandal, Ivo Sanader was sentenced to prison for accepting a bribe from Hungarian MOL oil company CEO Zsolt Hernádi. He was accused of making necessary arrangements for transferring control rights over INA oil company to MOL for a "commission" of EUR 10 million. At that time, MOL and INA were negotiating on changes to the shareholders agreement. However, the Constitutional Court overturned the ruling and the retrial should start soon, this time against the absent Hernádi, accused of bribery.

Case 6, HEP TLM

The State Attorney's Office in Zagreb has not formally adopted a decision to terminate the process, but it gave up on raising charges against Ivo Sanader in the HEP TLM case, where the former PM was accused of illegal sale of cheap electricity to TLM foundry from Šibenik and Aluminij Mostar aluminum manufacturer. The accusation "weighed" as much as HRK 650 million. However, the prosecutors soon withdrew the indictment raised in 2013 for further work. The deadline for raising new charges was set for one year later, and the process is considered as scrapped since new charges were not raised.

Inačica na drugom jeziku / Alternate language version