The Supreme Court has upheld a complaint by Ivo Sanader’s defence counsel, asking that the president of Zagreb County Court, Judge Ivan Turudic, be disqualified from presiding a retrial in the Hypo and INA-MOL cases, the Supreme Court said on Friday.
According to the decision, Turudic is disqualified as the president of the court but also as the president of the trial panel. The Supreme Court, however, rejected the defence counsel’s request to disqualify all other Zagreb County Court judges, with the exception of Turudic’s deputy Drazen Jakovina, who has been disqualified.
Sanader’s counsels had until now not disclosed why they had requested Turudic’s disqualification but have said that they “have their reasons.” Attorney Cedo Prodanovic had earlier told reporters that they had requested Turudic’s disqualification regardless of recommendations made by the Constitutional Court which quashed a final ruling against Sanader for war profiteering in the Hypo case and for taking a bribe from the Hungarian MOL oil company.
Sanader’s counsels had in late July warned that the Constitutional Court had recommended that a retrial in these cases should be heard before a new panel of judges. However, Judge Turudic then told the press that “there was no reason why he shouldn’t retry Sanader.”