Austrian judge keeps former Croatian PM in custody

Former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader will stay in custody, pending an extradition request from Zagreb

Austrian judge keeps former Croatian PM in custody

An Austrian judge remanded former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader in custody on Saturday pending an extradition request from Zagreb for him to face corruption allegations.

Sanader was arrested on a highway in western Austria on Friday after Croatia issued an international arrest warrant for him.

Salzburg prosecutors' spokesman Barbara Feichtinger said the provincial court judge had approved Sanader's continued detention for at least 14 days.

Sanader left Croatia on Thursday shortly before parliament lifted his immunity from prosecution. Prosecutors suspect him of being behind a plan to create slush funds for his conservative HDZ party during his 2004-09 period in office.

Sanader denies the accusations, saying they were politically motivated. He is the highest-ranking Croatian official to be investigated for corruption.

At the Croatian state prosecutor's request, the Croatian parliament unanimously lifted Sanader's immunity from prosecution on Thursday -- shortly after he left the country.

Sanader resigned unexpectedly and with no explanation in July 2009. His ruling HDZ party expelled him in January.

Reuters

Last Mod: 11 Aralık 2010, 17:08
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