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Croatian ex-PM freed after graft verdict overturned

His trial had been one of Croatia's most important corruption cases since the country gained independence in 1991.



Zagreb: Former Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader has been released from jail following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn a nine-year prison sentence for multi-million-euro embezzlement and order a retrial.

"I do not do politics any more, that is a finished thing. I will concentrate fully on the trials ahead and I am convinced we will win them," Sanader told reporters yesterday in front of a Zagreb prison after three years behind bars.

Sanader, 62, was convicted in March last year for diverting some ten million euros from state-run firms, mainly to benefit himself and to go towards slush funds for his former HDZ party.

The court scrapped his conviction last month citing violations of criminal proceedings, notably the right to a fair trial, and Sanader was granted release on condition of a 12.4 million kuna (USD 1.7 million) bail.

His trial had been one of Croatia's most important corruption cases since the country gained independence in 1991.

It was also one in a series against the once powerful Sanader, who was premier from 2003 to 2009 and helped guide Croatia to NATO membership.

Earlier corruption convictions he received in different cases were overturned last year by the Supreme Court, which ordered retrials that are yet to start.

He has also been charged with abuse of power and corruption in two more cases.  

From Zee News

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