ZAGREB, June 10 Croatia will try the chairman of
Hungarian energy group MOL, Zsolt Hernadi, in absentia
on graft charges related to MOL's purchase of Croatian oil and
gas firm INA, a Croatian court decided on Tuesday.
"The indictment against Hernadi has been confirmed and he
will be tried in absentia," the Zagreb county court's spokesman,
Kresimir Devcic, told Reuters.
Hernadi, who can appeal against the court's decision, is
charged with giving former Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader
10 million euros ($13.62 million) in exchange for MOL obtaining
a dominant management position in INA, without formally
becoming its majority owner.
Its dominant position was formalised in a shareholder
agreement signed in 2009.
Sanader has already been sentenced to 10 years in prison in
the same bribery case. Sanader, Hernadi and MOL have all denied
the charges and Sanader appealed against the verdict. Croatia's
Supreme Court is expected to publish its decision on Sanader's
MOL owns almost 50 percent of INA, while the Croatian
government has just under 45 percent.
Croatia sought to question Hernadi in relation to the case
but he refused to attend the court in Zagreb.
Hungary has conducted its own investigation and found no
basis for charging Hernadi.
($1 = 0.7345 Euros)
(Reporting by Igor Ilic; Editing by Zoran Radosavljevic and