Sanader trial

Sanader says will not go back to politics

15.03.2012 u 14:07


Former Prime Minister and former president of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) Ivo Sanader said after leaving the Zagreb county court building on Thursday that he would not go back to or comment on politics.

"I will not go back to politics. I told you already three months ago that I would not comment on politics and that I would not go back to it, so all other comments are needless," Sanader told the press and thus responded to his former close associate and incumbent Croatian Democratic Union president, Jadranka Kosor, who told the Nova TV commercial television on Wednesday evening that Sanader "is closely following the developments in the HDZ" and that she was confident that "he is talking to some people who the other day gathered around one of her possible future rivals" for the position of HDZ president.

One of Sanader's lawyers, Jadranka Slokovic, told the press she was satisfied with today's testimonies by witnesses for the defence, because they proved that Sanader's government had voted following their conscience.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Slobodan Uzelac testified before the Zagreb County Court today at Sanader's trial, stressing that Sanader never exerted pressure on him regarding the vote on amendments to the shareholders' agreement with the Hungarian oil company MOL which took over the majority stock package in the Croatian oil company INA. Unlike the other two ministers from the Sanader government, who were questioned earlier, Damir Polancec and Ivan Suker, Uzelac said that government members did not have to vote in accordance with the prime minister's expectations.

Sanader is accused of receiving 10 million euros in bribes to enable MOL to have a dominant position in INA and to see to it that INA's loss-making gas business is divested. Sanader is also on trial receiving a HRK 3.6 million commission from the Austrian bank after the bank approved a loan in the amount of 140 million Austrian schillings to the Croatian foreign ministry in the mid-1990s, which is why he has been charged with war profiteering because at the time, Croatia was still in a state of war.

The trial is scheduled to resume on Friday when former Parliament Speaker Luka Bebic and former Environment Protection Minister Marina Matulovic Dropulic are expected to take the witness stand.