Former Croat PM sentenced to six years in corruption case

The Supreme Court of Croatia confirmed on Thursday the previous ruling against former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader and sentenced him to prison, the court spokesperson told reporters on Thursday.

The court accepted the prosecutor’s appeal and increased Sanader’s sentence from four and a half to six years and issued an arrest warrant.

In April 2017, the former prime minister was convicted in the so-called Planinska case, named after a building in Planinska Street in Zagreb, which was owned by his friend and fellow party member Stjepan Fiolic.

The building was overpriced and then sold to the government. Sanader received a kickback, while the state lost 26 million kuna (3.9 million U.S. dollars).

During the trial, Fiolic admitted that he had given 17 million kuna to the former prime minister. He was sentenced to one year in prison, which was replaced with community service. The owner who exaggerated the price of his building was also sentenced to one year in prison, which can be replaced by community service.

In the process, Sanader claimed he was not guilty and said that the verdict was based on the false testimony of those who had received benefits only to hurt him. His lawyers had hoped that the Supreme Court would overturn the verdict, but it increased the sentence instead.

Sanader was leading Croatia’s center-right government from 2003 until 2009, when he suddenly resigned. Later he was charged in several corruption cases, Xinhua reports.

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