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Report: Court orders retrial in INA management rights bribery case

Issues

Croatiaʼs Constitutional Court yesterday ordered a retrial of former prime minister Ivo Sanader, who was earlier sentenced to eight and a half years for accepting a bribe to give Hungarian oil and gas company MOL management rights in Croatian peer INA, Hungarian news agency MTI reported today.

The court annulled the verdict citing procedural errors and returned the case to the Zagreb County Court. It did not weigh Sanaderʼs guilt or innocence, rather it scrutinized the violation of his constitutional rights during the trial.

MOL reportedly told MTI that it welcomed the decision, even though it was not familiar with all of the details. The company noted that it had never been a party to the case.

MOL chairman Zsolt Hernádi was earlier accused of bribing Sanader to obtain management rights in INA, a charge Hernádi has been cleared of in Hungary. However, he is still listed on the webpage of Interpol under “wanted persons”. He is “wanted by the judicial authorities of Croatia for prosecution / to serve a sentence,” the website says. 

Sanader was found guilty in a first-instance ruling late in 2012 and the decision was upheld by the supreme court on appeal last year. Afterward, Sanader appealed to the Constitutional Court, claiming procedural errors had been made.

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