Croatian court requests arrest warrant for MOL CEO

Issues

The Croatian Police Directorate has received a request from the court to issue a warrant for the arrest of Zsolt Hernádi, the CEO of Hungarian oil and gas company MOL, national news agency HINA reported yesterday. Hernádi is suspected of bribing former Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader in exchange for management rights in Croatian oil company INA.

Citing sources from within the Croatian Police Directorate, the HINA story stated that an arrest warrant would be issued and published on the website of Interpol.

The Zagreb County Court on Friday set investigative detention for Hernádi at the proposal of the Croatian anti-corruption office USKOK. HINA reported in September that prosecution had opted for detention after Hungary declined to present Hernádi with a subpoena for his questioning in Croatia. Prior to this, Hungarian authorities have declined to interrogate Mr Hernádi themselves stating the protection of national interest as the reason for the rejection.

MOL has said the accusations of corruption against Hernádi are unfounded.

Last November, a Croatian court sentenced Sanader on corruption charges involving the alleged payment of a bribe of millions of euros to give MOL management rights in INA.

MOL holds a little less than 50% of INA's shares, while the state of Croatia currenlty owns about 45%.

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