Milan Bandić and former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader should get starting dates for their trials next week.
Judges of the Zagreb County Court will next week take part in preparatory hearings which should determine the start dates for two long-delayed trials – the first trial against Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić in the so-called Stands case, and a new trial against former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader, who is accused of selling cheap electricity to Dioki, a company owned at the time by controversial entrepreneur Robert Ježić, reports tportal.hr on September 28, 2017.
However, given that cases have repeatedly been postponed at various stages of the proceedings, it would not be terribly surprising if the start days were again delayed, due to the accused not appearing in court, new demands by their defence teams, suspect illnesses or similar reasons.
The preliminary hearing for Bandić will take place on 2 October, and for Sanader on 3 October.
In his indictment, Sanader is accused that, together with Ježić, he demanded from CEO of Croatian Electric Company (HEP) Ivan Mravak to provide a loan to Ježić’s companies in the amount of 15 million kunas and to sell electricity to him below market prices. The trial was due to begin in the summer of 2014 when it was postponed due to the illnesses of both of Sanader’s co-defendants. Mravak died in the meantime.
This fifth indictment against Sanader was confirmed by the court in September 2013. During his questioning in February 2012, Sanader dismissed allegations that he had abused his position and authority as prime minister. However, Mravak admitted his guilt, while Ježić first denied his guilt, but later became the crown witness for the prosecution in the INA-MOL and Hypo Bank case against Sander, in which the former Prime Minister was sentenced to eight and a half years’ imprisonment, but the verdict was later annulled by the Constitutional Court.
In the meantime, Sanader has been sentenced in the first instance in the Planinska case, and he is being tried for stealing funds from state institutions and companies through the Fimi Media marketing agency after the first conviction was annulled by the Supreme Court.
As for Bandić, the Stands case has been marked by numerous delays in various stages of the proceedings. The indictment was filed in February 2015 and was finally confirmed in July this year.
Bandić is accused that, together with his associate Ivica Lovrić and head of the Zagreb Markets public company Zdenka Palac, he provided an illegal gain in the amount of 308,000 kunas to the U Ime Obitelji NGO, allowing it to use city-owned stands to collect signatures for the anti-gay marriage referendum.
The first indictment against Bandić in this case was dismissed by Judge Pavelin Borzić in July 2015, concluding that the Mayor did not commit a criminal offence. However, in May 2016, the Supreme Court upheld an appeal by the prosecution and found that, by dismissing the indictment, the County Court had violated provisions of the criminal proceedings.
Translated from tportal.hr.