Former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader, who is on trial for war profiteering, has complained that the leaking of witness testimonies in the media constitutes a violation of his human rights, citing as an example a leaked testimony of a witness questioned at the Zagreb County Court on Friday.
The witness in question is Bozena Kljucaric, whose statement to the anti-corruption investigative agency USKOK was published in dailies on Thursday. Before Kljucaric's testimony on Friday, Sanader's attorney Cedo Prodanovic objected that now that her statement had been published by the media, "the questioning is no longer in line with relevant rules in relation to witnesses who have read her statement."
Sanader addressed the panel of judges conducting the trial, stressing that the only logical conclusion was that the prosecution was leaking information to the media, asking that it stop doing it because it harmed his defence.
USKOK prosecutor Tamara Laptos said the prosecution was definitely not leaking information because the publishing of witness statements by the media harmed the prosecution as well.
After former Prime Minister Nikica Valentic testified in the trial, the witness stand was taken by a former director of the Elan company, Bozena Kljucaric, and the head of Sanadar's office at the time when Sanader was Deputy Foreign Minister, Miroslav Kovacic.
The two witnesses recalled Sanader's meetings with a former director of the Hypo bank, Wolfgang Kulterer.
Kljucaric said that she first met Sanader at the time when Elan was owned by Privredna Banka Zagreb, which did business with Kulterer. The two men held meetings on several occasions, the witness said, adding that she attended one such meeting concerning Elan.
Presiding judge Ivan Turudic would not allow the defence's question if Sanader was involved in negotiations on a loan from the Hypo bank to Elan.
Sanader's former assistant Kovacic said that Sanader met a dozen times with Kulterer during negotiations on the loan over which Sanader has been indicted for war profiteering.
The witness recalled that the then Foreign Minister Mate Granic was present at a meeting held subsequently with Hypo bank executives. Asked if he participated in the meetings and took notes, Kovacic said that he did not and that he did not know what the meetings were about. "My duty was to phone Kulterer from time to time and arrange meetings with him," he said.
"I welcomed Kulterer on several occasions, I spoke with him and led him to the deputy minister's office. I can't remember any other Croatian official having taken part in those meetings." Asked what the meetings were about, Kovacic said that he later had reason to believe that they were about a loan, but that at the time of the meetings, he had no knowledge of what they were about.
The trial of Sanader will continue next week, on November 10, with the testimony of three witnesses, and former Foreign Minister Mate Granic is expected to testify the following day.