The Croatian Supreme Court on Thursday quashed a ruling in a case dubbed Fimi Media, in which former Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Ivo Sanader and the HDZ were found guilty of political corruption, and set HRK 12.4 million bail for the release of Sanader from prison.
Sanader and the HDZ had been found guilty by the Zagreb County Court of siphoning money from state institutions and state-owned companies through the private Fimi Media marketing agency, after which the case was named. Sanader was given nine years.
The other defendants in this case are former HDZ treasurer Mladen Barisic, HDZ chief accountant Branka Pavosevic, Fimi Media owner Nevenka Jurak, and former HDZ and government spokesman Ratko Macek. Barisic was given three years, Pavosevic 1.5 years and Jurak two years plus a fine of 2.5 million kuna. Ratko Macek, who received a one-year sentence suspended for four years, which was the most lenient sentence in this trial, was the only one not to appeal the ruling.
Sanader, who stepped down as prime minister on 1 July 2009 during his second term, has been investigated in several graft cases. He was convicted of corruption in the Hypo Bank and INA-MOL cases in 2014, however, this final verdict was quashed by the Constitutional Court this summer.
He is currently on trial in the Planinska Street case in which he is charged with having received 17 million kuna in kickbacks after the Regional Development Ministry bought a property in Planinska Street in Zagreb from former HDZ MP Stjepan Fiolic.
Sanader has been behind bars since his arrest in Salzburg, Austria on 10 December 2010 and his handover to Croatia on 18 July 2011. (Hina)