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Croatia's former PM convicted of new graft charges

Croatia's ex-prime minister Ivo Sanader was found guilty Tuesday of embezzling millions of euros in public funds while in power and sentenced to nine years in jail, his second graft conviction in two years. The two-year-long trial, which also found the former ruling HDZ party guilty of the same charges, was seen here as the most important corruption case since the former Yugoslav republic's 1991 independence.

Croatia's former PM convicted of new graft charges

Croatia's ex-prime minister Ivo Sanader was found guilty Tuesday of embezzling millions of euros in public funds while in power and sentenced to nine years in jail, his second graft conviction in two years. The two-year-long trial, which also found the the former ruling HDZ party guilty of the same charges, was labelled here as the most important corruption case since the former Yugoslav republic's 1991 independence.

Croatia's ex-PM, biggest party sentenced over slush funds

By Zoran Radosavljevic ZAGREB (Reuters) - Former Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader and his political party were found guilty on Tuesday of rigging public tenders and abusing state funds in the biggest corruption trial to date in the new European Union member.

Croatia ex-minister tried over WWII crimes

Croatia's 93-year-old former interior minister went on trial Wednesday charged with ordering the killing of 21 civilians at the end of World War II. Josip Boljkovac, who pleaded not guilty, is the first former Communist official to be tried for crimes allegedly committed during World War II since Croatia proclaimed independence from the former Yugoslavia. He is accused of being responsible, as a member of the OZNA partisan communist secret services, for the detention and killing of 21 civilians accused of collaborating with Croatia's Nazi-allied Ustasha regime.

Slovenia, Croatia expect early settlement of bank dispute

LJUBLJANA, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Parliament leaders of Slovenia and Croatia agreed on Thursday to overcome the dispute of the defunct Slovenian bank Ljubljanska Banka (LB) "as soon as possible." Janko Veber, president of the Slovenian National Assembly, and his Croatian counterpart Josip Leko told reporters that they would prompt their governments to find a solution for the bank dispute. The settlement of open issues will pave the way for better economic cooperation between Croatia and Slovenia, and promote multilateral cooperation in Southeast Europe, Leko noted.

Leaders urge Croats to reject anti gay marriage referendum

ZAGREB (Reuters) - Croatia's ruling center-left coalition urged citizens to reject Sunday's referendum on constitutionally defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman that has been supported by the conservative opposition and Roman Catholic groups. Six ministers from the Social Democrat-led government posted a 40-second video clip on YouTube in which they explain why they will vote against it.

Croatia issues arrest warrant for Hungarian oil boss

Croatia on Tuesday issued a European arrest warrant for the boss of Hungarian oil company MOL, Zsolt Hernadi, as part of a corruption investigation, police said. Jelena Bikic, a police spokeswoman, also told AFP that police had requested Interpol to issue an international arrest warrant. Hernadi is suspected of striking a deal in 2008 with the former Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader that saw the company pay 10 million euros ($13.5 million) in return for assuring MOL's control of Croatian oil and gas company INA.

Hungary slams Croatia over oil boss arrest warrant

Hungary threatened Croatia with legal action on Wednesday in response to a European arrest warrant issued by Zagreb for the head of local energy group MOL. The Hungarian government "cannot allow these steps -- against the biggest investor in the country -- to go unanswered," it said in a statement. It said it would ask MOL to consider selling its 49.1-percent stake in Croatian oil and gas company INA and that Hungary's foreign minister was pulling out of a planned visit to Croatia this week.

Croatia court issues detention order for CEO of Hungary's MOL

ZAGREB, Croatia - A Croatian court has ordered the detention of the chairman of Hungary's MOL energy group who is under investigation here for allegedly bribing a former prime minister in Croatia. The Zagreb County Court took that action Friday regarding Zsolt Hernadi after he failed to appear for questioning over accusations that he bribed Prime Minister Ivo Sanader in 2008, while he was still in office, to gain control of Croatia's oil and gas firm INA. Hernadi has denied the allegation, and MOL's general counsel, Pal Kara, rejected it Friday.

EU piles pressure on Croatia over extradition law

By John O'Donnell BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union moved a step closer to imposing financial sanctions on Croatia on Wednesday, frustrated that Zagreb has failed to make its extradition laws comply with EU legislation. The European Commission said Croatia, the EU's newest member state, had two weeks to amend its laws or face the suspension of financial aid, which will stall efforts to improve border controls and harm its bid to join Europe's passport-free zone.
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