ZAGREB, July 29 (Hina) – Laura Valković, Croatian lawyer for MOL CEO Zsolt Hernadi, said that the Court of Justice of the European Union did not say that Hungary had to extradite Hernadi but that a Hungarian court has to decide on Croatia’s extradition request.
“Most of the media and pundits have totally misinterpreted the European Court of Justice ruling. That court does not say in any part of its ruling that Hungary has to extradite Hernadi but that a Hungarian court is obliged to decide on that request,” Valković said and added that there is no need to misinform the Croatian public. She explained that this is a procedural decision that doesn’t enter into the merits of the case. “The decision just says that Hungary has to decide on Croatia’s request and not as has been incorrectly interpreted that it has to extradite Hernadi within 60 days,” Valković told Hina.
The European Court in Luxembourg said on Wednesday Hungary should not have ignored the European arrest warrant for Hernadi only based on a decision of its Public Prosecutor’s Office to close a criminal investigation within which he was interviewed only as a witness. “Judicial authorities of the Member States are required to adopt a decision on any European arrest warrant communicated to them,” the court said in a press release.
The European arrest warrant for Hernadi, which some states have ignored, was issued after Croatia’s USKOK anti-corruption office accused him of giving former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader 10 million euro in bribes so that the Hungarian oil company MOL could acquire management rights in Croatian peer INA.