Court Postpones Verdict in the Trial of Former Prime Minister Sanader

Total Croatia News

Court decides it needs to receive further expert opinion.

The verdict in the trial of former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader in the “Planinska case” has been postponed because the court concluded it still needed to receive further expert opinion in order to make a decision on charges that Sanader received 17 million kunas as a fee after the Ministry of Regional Development in 2009 bought a building from a company owned by Stjepan Fiolić, former HDZ member of Parliament, reports on April 13, 2016.

Judge Jasna Smiljanić said that the conditions for the announcement of the verdict had not been met. “There are two options”, said the judge, adding that before the decision is made additional construction and financial investigations would need to be conducted.

In the closing statement, the Office for Suppression of Organized Crime and Corruption (USKOK) on Monday demanded an unconditional prison sentence for Sanader, convinced that during the trial it had proved that his corruptive behaviour damaged the state. The defence claimed that Sanader should be acquitted because the prosecution failed to prove a single allegation from the indictment.

Sanader’s defence team said that they were surprised by the court’s decision. Sanader’s lawyer Jadranka Sloković did not want to comment on the decision, but just said she did not expect it. Sanader himself did not want to comment at all.

Representatives of USKOK also did not want to comment but did say that there were several expert investigations already done during the trial.

Petar Čobanković, former Minister of Regional Development, has admitted his guilt and made a deal with the prosecution. He was convicted to community service which he has already served. The “Planinska case” is just one of several trials which are being conducted against former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader. He has been imprisoned several times during the last few years but has still not been finally found guilty of any crime.


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