INA-MOL case

Sanader claims Spevec's testimony untrue

24.02.2012 u 15:19


Former Prime Minister and former Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Ivo Sanader on Friday objected to the truthfulness of the testimony of Croatian Competition Agency head Olgica Spevec, who said at today's court hearing that Sanader pressured her to secure Hungary's MOL a more favourable influence in Croatia's INA.

Following Spevec's testimony, Sanader said the witness did not speak the truth when she said that prior to the Competition Agency's decision on concentration, Sanader had warned her that this deal was important for Croatia, "notably concerning the gas business, which had to stand on its feet."

Sanader claims she did not truthfully convey the content of a telephone call during which he allegedly hung up on her and called her back half an hour later to invite her for talks in the government headquarters to explain the agency's decision concerning changes to the INA shareholders' agreement between the government and MOL.

Sanader said the witness was telling the truth only when she said that he did not read the letter in which members of the Competition Agency had warned him that MOL was gaining a prevailing influence in INA.

"She was right when she said that I never read the letter, I never received it, and now I see that it was fabricated," Sanader said. Claims that the letter which the witness spoke of had never been sent were reiterated by Sanader's lawyer Cedo Prodanovic, who said that the letter was post-dated and that the register number was fake.

The anti-corruption office USKOK has charged Sanader with taking a EUR 10 million bribe so that MOL could have the dominant position in INA, including the divestiture of its unprofitable gas business.

The trial resumes next week when former Deputy Prime Minister Damir Polancec and former director of Austria's Hypo Bank Wolfgang Kulterer are expected to take the stand.

The following witnesses have been summoned to take the stand in March: Dioki owner Robert Jezic, former Finance Minister Ivan Suker, former Parliament Speaker Luka Bebic and former Construction Minister Marina Matulovic Dropulic.