7th April, 2017
Former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader was on Friday sentenced to four and a half years imprisonment for a corruption case.
He was accused of taking 17 million kunas (about 2.5 million dollars) bribes after government bought a building from a private company in 2009 when he was prime minister.
According to the law, Sanader will not go to prison until the verdict becomes final as the sentence is shorter than five years.
Sanader denied guilty, claiming the witness, the owner of the building, had a deal with the prosecution in return for a lighter sentence.
Sanader, who was the prime minister from 2003 to 2009, was accused in several corruption cases, but had not been convicted in any.
In 2014, he was preliminarily sentenced to nine years in prison for siphoning money from state institutions through Fimi Media marketing agency, but later the Supreme Court quashed the verdict for procedural errors and asked for retrial.
Croatian Constitutional Court in 2015 quashed the final ruling against him in two corruption convictions, Hypo Bank and INA-MOL cases, for procedural errors and ordered for retrial too.
Sanader, who stepped down as prime minister in July 2009, was arrested in late 2010 in Austria and was extradited to Croatia in July 2011.