Budapest, July 27 (MTI) – Croatia’s Constitutional Court on Monday ordered a retrial of former prime minister Ivo Sanader, who was earlier sentenced to eight and a half years in prison for accepting a bribe to give Hungarian oil and gas company MOL management rights in Croatian peer INA.
The court annulled the verdict citing procedural errors and returned the case to the Zagreb County Court. It did not weigh Sanader’s guilt or innocence, rather it scrutinised the violation of his constitutional rights during the trial.
MOL told MTI that it welcomed the decision, even though it was not familiar with all of the details. The company noted that it had never been a party to the case.
MOL chairman Zsolt Hernadi, however, was earlier accused of bribing Sanader to obtain management rights in INA, a charge Hernadi has been cleared of in Hungary.
Sanader was found guilty in a first-instance ruling late in 2012 and the decision was upheld by the supreme court on appeal last year. Afterward, Sanader appealed to the Constitutional Court, claiming procedural errors had been made.
Sanader remains in pre-trial detention for his involvement in another case for which has been sentenced to nine years in prison in a non-final ruling.