Sanader's verdict in Planinska case postponed

A ruling for former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader in the Planinska case was not handed down on Wednesday as the court decided it needed to hear more expert witnesses to be able to rule on the bribe taking charges against the former premier and former Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader.

In the Planinska case, Sanader is in the dock together with former HDZ parliamentarian Stjepan Fiolic, the owner of a meat-processing company and Mladen Mlinarevic, whose company allegedly ensured a bloated value contract for the sale of a building owned by the Fiolic company to the regional development ministry in 2009.

Sanader is charged with pushing for the purchase of the building in Planinska Street  at that inner cabinet meeting in 2009, as a result of which the sales contract was signed the next day, hence defrauding the state budget of HRK 26.4 million, according to the Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organised Crime (USKOK). He is also accused of having received a kick-back of 17 million kuna for that disputable transaction.

After being arrested during the investigation, Fiolic admitted the building was sold at an inflated price and said he kept the money. Later, however, he testified that he had taken about HRK 17 million to Sanader at the latter's request. Fiolic also showed investigators a place on his estate where he was hiding some of Sanader's valuable works of art which police were looking for.

Sanader has dismissed all the charges and his defence team insists that the charges were based on Fiolic's claims.

So far, there is not a single final or non-final verdict against Sanader, as the Constitutional Court last summer quashed the war profiteering ruling in the Hypo case and the bribe-taking ruling in the INA-MOL case and ordered a re-trial before the Zagreb County Court. The Supreme Court then quashed the non-final ruling in the Fimi media case in which his HDZ party was also found guilty of corruption.

The Constitutional Court's decision was also the foundation for Sanader's release from detention on 25 November 2015.

Last update: Wed, 13/04/2016 - 16:38

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