Austria and Germany suspend Croatia's arrest warrant for MOL CEO Hernadi

Austria and Germany have suspended Croatia's warrant for the arrest of the chief executive of the Hungarian oil and gas group MOL, Zsoltan Hernadi, who is wanted on suspicion of bribery.

The Croatian office of Interpol has been notified by Interpol in Vienna that the search for Hernadi has been suspended, Croatian police spokeswoman Jelena Bikic told Hina.

The Croatian judiciary has charged Hernadi with bribing former Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader with 10 million euros to secure management rights in the Croatian oil and gas company INA for MOL. 

According to unofficial information, Austria and Germany suspended the Croatian warrant citing the principle of double jeopardy, according to which one person cannot be tried twice for the same matter. They were informed by Hungary that Hernadi had been on trial in the same case in Hungary and acquitted.

The Croatian Ministry of the Interior requested an explanation from the police in Austria and Germany as to why they had not complied with the European Arrest Warrant. The Germans have not replied yet, while the Austrians cited the "ne bis in idem" principle.

The Croatian Ministry of Justice said it would request additional explanations from Austria and Germany.

Hernadi's Croatian lawyer Goran Mikulicic told Hina he was not familiar with the German and Austrian suspension of the Croatian arrest warrant, noting that this was the individual and sovereign decision of the judicial authorities of a country that made such a decision. He said that the decision was not in violation of international law because every country decides in each individual case whether it will comply with a European Arrest Warrant and has the right, and even the duty, to re-examine the grounds on which the warrant was issued.

Last update: Thu, 12/11/2015 - 16:21

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