Austrian judge extends Croatian ex-PM's detention

An Austrian judge ruled that Sanader, whose extradition is being sought by Zagreb prosecutors, should remain in custody, APA news agency reported.

Austrian judge extends Croatian ex-PM's detention

An Austrian judge on Monday ruled that Croatian former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader, whose extradition is being sought by Zagreb prosecutors, should remain in custody, APA news agency reported.

The Salzburg judge ordered that Sanader, wanted in Croatia on suspicion of corruption, should be held for another month due to risks that he might flee or interfere with witnesses. A further hearing is likely on Jan. 27.

APA quoted justice officials and his lawyer as saying that Sanader had not agreed to an accelerated extradition process.

Sanader, 57, was arrested while driving on an Austrian highway on Dec. 10, a day after the Croatian parliament lifted his immunity from prosecution.

Croatian prosecutors suspect Sanader of being behind a plan to create slush funds for his conservative HDZ party during his term as prime minister from 2004-09.

Sanader has denied wrongdoing and said he was the target of a media witchhunt. Testifying by video link last week to an Austrian inquiry into the failure of Hypo Alpe Adria bank, he denied taking any illicit payments from the bank.

Vienna prosecutors have, meanwhile, opened a probe into suspected money laundering involving Sanader after an Austrian bank reported suspicious transactions to regulators.


Reuters

Last Mod: 27 Aralık 2010, 16:28
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