Croatian court finds head of Hungary’s MOL, Croatia’s ex-PM guilty of bribery

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A Croatian court ruled on Monday that the head of Hungarian energy group MOL and Croatia’s former prime minister were guilty in a corruption case, opening a new chapter in a legal saga that has dragged on for almost a decade.

MOL’s Chief Executive and Chairman Zsolt Hernadi was found guilty of bribing former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader in 2008 to allow MOL to become the key decision-maker in Croatian energy firm INA, in which MOL is the biggest shareholder and the Croatian state is the second-biggest, according to Reuters.

They were handed prison sentences of two and six years respectively, Croatia’s N1 television reported, although both were absent from court. The ruling is not final and can be appealed. MOL owns close to 50% of INA while the Croatian state owns 45%.

Court president Ivan Turudic said: “There is an active European arrest warrant for Hernadi and Hungary should act accordingly.”

Hernadi and Sanader, who was prime minister from 2003 until 2009, have denied any wrongdoing in the case that was originally launched by Croatia’a anti-corruption agency.

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