The USKOK prosecutor at the trial of former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader on Thursday contested the veracity of claims made by defence witness Imre Fazekas who contrary to the testimony of the principal witness in the INA-MOL case, Robert Jezic, told the Zagreb County Court earlier on Thursday that the five million euros deposited in the bank account of Jezic's Swiss company Xenoplast was not intended for Sanader.
Vanja Marusic, representative of the Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organised Crime (USKOK), told the court the Hungarian businessman Fazekas had not told the truth when talking about the reasons for concluding a contract with Jezic's company which he said should have helped him with the implementation of the Druzba Adria project.
Accepting the testimony Jezic gave earlier at the trial, USKOK believes that the five million euros on his Swiss account was a half of the bribe allegedly intended for Sanader, charged with taking 10 million euros as a bribe from the Hungarian oil company MOL in exchange for ceding to it management rights in the Croatian oil company INA.
Jezic also told the court that the money had been deposited on his bank account with the assistance of Fazekas.
However, Fazekas today denied Jezic's claims, saying that he cooperated with Jezic's Xenoplast on a deal that was part of the Druzba Adria project.
Fazekas said today that he started doing business with Jezic because he was aware that Jezic could help with the implementation of the project with his political connections, but that Jezic was also interesting as a partner because of the land his Dioki company had near Omisalj on the island of Krk. The total value of contracts signed for the purchase of the land and oil transport was five million euros. One contract brought Jezic 2.6 million euros and another contract 2.4 million, said Fazekas.
The prosecutors in this case said they wondered why Fazekas had asked the withdrawal of the money from Jezic's Xenoplast company only when Jezic testified against Sanader and not before when he had became aware that the Druzba Adria project had failed.
The claims of this Hungarian witness were reportedly corroborated by the Russneft owner, Russian oil magnate Mikhail Gutseriyev, in the pre-trial proceedings. The Russian businessman is expected to take the witness stand on Friday.