Former Croatian Prime Minister Zelda Hernadi was found guilty in trial

Former Croatian Prime Minister Zelda Hernadi was found guilty in trial

On Monday, the Zagreb District Court sentenced former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader to 6 years in prison, and Zolt Hernadi, President and CEO of Mol Plc.

In a joint trial that began a year and two months ago, the court found the defendants guilty of accepting a bribe or committing a bribe.

According to Judge Maja Stampar Steptic, Sanader agreed with Zollt Hernady to obtain management rights for the Hungarian company over the Croatian oil company INA for 10 million euros and to withdraw the losing gas sector from INA.

At the cabinet meeting, Sanader requested the approval of the report handing over control of the INA to Mall, which the Council of Ministers did.

The judge said.

Sanader, who was imprisoned for another conviction on health grounds, did not attend the death sentence after the country’s Supreme Court upheld his sentence in a corruption case known as Planenska for a period of 6 years.

The court also ruled on the former prime minister to confiscate five million euros. Sanader and Hernádi will also have to pay around 60,000 kuna (about 2.6 million forints) in litigation.

Robert Gezic, who saw the crown in Sander’s lawsuit, had previously claimed that Mull had transferred half of the 10 million euros to the account of a Swiss company he owned. Jezic stated that he would transfer the money into the court’s account as soon as possible, but he has not done so in years. According to the judgment, Jezic will now have to transfer that money.

Sender’s lawyers told the press that they are appealing the ruling. Attorney Jadranka Slokovic said they were not surprised by the ruling.

The rights of defendants and defense attorneys were also systematically violated in the lawsuit


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Sanader has previously been convicted once in this case. In a joint lawsuit in the Hypo Bank and Mol-INA cases, the Zagreb District Court in November 2012 sentenced him to ten years in prison for war profiteering, abuse of position, and bribery. The Supreme Court legally reduced the sentence in 2014 to eight and a half years. The former Croatian prime minister then appealed to the Constitutional Court over procedural errors, and in July 2015, the committee overturned the ruling and ordered a retrial.

The company said in a statement that the Mall Company insists on its previous arguments, firmly rejects the allegations of misconduct and continues to defend itself by all means against the unfounded allegations of crime. The President and CEO continue to enjoy the full confidence and support of Mol’s Board of Directors.

In 2013, the Croatian Public Prosecutor’s Office for Combating Corruption and Organized Crime (USKOK) filed charges against Zollt Hernady. According to USKOK, between 2008 and 2009, the president of Mol delivered more than ten million euros in bribes to then-Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader. Mol Plc and Hernadi both denied the allegations, stating that they had not corrupted any politicians or took bribes to obtain the institute’s management rights.

The Hungarian Public Prosecutor’s Office ordered an investigation of an unknown perpetrator in July 2011 on suspicion of bribery for breaching international relations duty. The Public Prosecutor’s Office found that no crime had been committed in favor of Mall and by its administration, and therefore terminated the investigation in the absence of a crime.

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Zolt Hernady
Photo: VG / György Kallus

In 2013, the Hungarian court refused to implement the European arrest warrant issued by the Croatian Public Prosecutor’s Office against Zollt Hernade, since in his opinion the order was issued in the same case, which had previously been investigated by the Hungarian Prosecutor’s Office and the proceedings were terminated in the absence of a crime. .

In July 2015, the Croatian Constitutional Court overturned the ruling in the criminal case of Evo Sanader, which also ruled that the former prime minister had accepted bribes in relation to the INA. The president and CEO of Mall was removed from INTERPOL’s periodic list in October 2016 after the organization refused a request from the Croatian state to renew the arrest warrant issued against it.

In the case, Croatia referred the matter to the Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), which in its December 2016 decision rejected all of Croatia’s claims relating to bribery, corporate governance and the alleged breach of the 2003 shareholder agreement.

However, Croatia decided to continue the criminal proceedings in Croatia and sent the European arrest warrant against Zsolt Hernádi directly to the Hungarian judiciary, and in August 2018 it again requested Interpol to renew the previously issued circular against Mol’s president and CEO. The Croatian police justified its request on the basis that the European Court of Justice ruled in July that judicial authorities in EU member states are required to rule on all European arrest warrants sent to them. During that, the person concerned was questioned as a witness.

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On 23 August 2018, the Hungarian capital court again rejected the European arrest warrant. The court justified its decision on the basis of that

There is a risk of violating the right to a fair trial if the accused is transferred and an impartial adjudication of the case is not guaranteed.

The Zagreb court joined the two lawsuits in December 2015 on the grounds that the two lawsuits in the INA-Mol case were related and based on the same evidence, and that both cases were at the same stage, thus creating the conditions for joining the lawsuit. .

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