Court Finds Sanader, Barisic and Pavosevic Guilty, HDZ Responsible

Total Croatia News

Source: Pixabay
Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

ZAGREB, November 13, 2020 – Former prime minister and former HDZ party leader Ivo Sanader was found guilty on Friday pending appeal and sentenced to eight years in prison for siphoning money from state-owned companies and institutions in the Fimi Media case.

Also convicted in a retrial before Zagreb County Court were former HDZ treasurer Mladen Barisic and accountant Branka Pavosevic while the party, into whose slush fund some of the siphoned money had allegedly ended up, was found “responsible”.

Details of the case as well as the sentences of all the indictees will be known after the trial chamber reads out and explains the verdict.

Neither Sanader nor his co-defendants on Friday attended the reading of the verdict in the case in which they were charged with siphoning around HRK 70 million (€9.3 million) from state-owned companies and institutions through the Fimi Media marketing agency. The ten-year case has become a byword for political corruption in Croatia.

Sanader was not present because he is undergoing physical rehabilitation in a spa following surgery and due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The retrial in the case started in 2016, a year after the Supreme Court quashed a sentencing verdict handed down in 2013 by Judge Ivana Krsul.

While USKOK anti-corruption investigators believe that they have proven the responsibility of Sanader, his former party and his co-defendants for corruption also in the retrial, their defence claims there is no evidence of their guilt.

The HDZ’s lawyers said the party should be held accountable for a misdemeanor, while Sanader’s defence reiterated that the incrimination was based solely on the “contradictory, inconsistent and illogical” testimony of former HDZ treasurer Barisic.

Besides Sanader, Barisic, Pavosevic and the HDZ, also indicted in this case was former government and HDZ spokesman Ratko Macek. Another defendant, Fimi Media owner Nevenka Jurak, died during the retrial.

In the first trial, Sanader was sentenced to nine years and ordered to return over HRK 15 million in illegal gains, while the HDZ was ordered to return more than HRK 24 million and fined HRK 5 million.

In the first trial, Barisic, Pavosevic and Jurak were given milder prison sentences and ordered to return the money. Unlike then, in the retrial they pleaded not guilty. Macek and Sanader were the only ones denying the charges from the start. In the first trial, Macek was given a suspended sentence.

Sanader has been in prison since 2019, serving a sentence in the Planinska corruption case. In the meantime, he has been sentenced pending appeal for taking a bribe from the Hungarian energy group MOL and, in 2018, for taking a kickback from the Austrian Hypo bank. He has been acquitted pending appeal for the sale of electricity from the HEP provider at cheaper prices.


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