Croatia moves towards detaining ex-PM Sanader

Croatia's former prime minister Ivo Sanader left the country as state prosecutors moved on Thursday to detain him in connection with corruption investigations.

Croatia moves towards detaining ex-PM Sanader

Croatia's former prime minister Ivo Sanader left the country as state prosecutors moved on Thursday to detain him in connection with corruption investigations, media and parliament officials said.

Arsen Bauk, vice-chairman of parliament's immunity commission and member of the opposition Social Democrats, told Reuters the state prosecutor's office had asked parliament to lift his immunity from prosecution and wanted to detain him.

"The request for lifting Sanader's immunity has arrived, after which the relevant court will decide on his possible detention," Bauk said.

He said the commission would probably vote on whether to lift Sanader's immunity later on Thursday.

State news agency Hina, quoting police sources, said Sanader had crossed the border with EU member Slovenia. Other media said Sander had citizenship of Austria, where he had lived and worked in the 1990s. Police were not available for immediate comment.

In Croatia, anti-corruption investigations are focussing on officials from the ruling HDZ party of Sanader's era.

Sanader unexpectedly and without explanation stepped down as prime minister in July 2009 and was expelled from the HDZ in January.

In September, police arrested the chief of the national customs service, Mladen Barisic, who was a close friend of Sanader's and party treasurer for the HDZ. Croatian media said he had implicated Sanader in his testimonies.

Since Sanader's former deputy Jadranka Kosor took over the government last year, a dozen managers of banks and state companies have been arrested for corruption, but in most cases indictments are still pending.

Former defence minister Berislav Roncevic, who served in Sanader's cabinet in 2003-07, was sentenced to five years in prison for corruption on Monday.



Reuters

Last Mod: 09 Aralık 2010, 15:11
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