Budapest denies Croatian extradition of MOL chief

By admin
2 Min Read

The Budapest Capital Court has denied Croatia’s request for the extradition of Zsolt Hernádi, President and CEO of integrated oil and gas company MOL Group.

The court said it denied the Croatian request because “there is a danger that the charged may not be subjected to a fair trial”.

Croatia is accusing Hernádi of bribing then Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader with EUR 10 million in 2008, when MOL was negotiating with the Croatian state to increase its stake in Croatian oil and gas company INA to 49 percent.


Ivo Sanader in a Croatian court

At the time, MOL and INA, the flagship companies of Hungary and Croatia, respectively, were valued at US$7 billion each. MOL eventually got the desired stake in INA. Hernádi has always denied any wrongdoing during the negotiations with Croatia.

Sanader was Prime Minister of Croatia between 2003-2009 and during his tenure he was accused by the opposition of taking bribes, war profiteering and selling state assets, with damage to the Croatian budget estimated at HRK 207 million (US$32 million).

In 2012, Sanader was sentenced to 10 years in prison in a first-degree verdict, the sentence was reduced to 8 and a half years in 2014. In 2015, the verdict was quashed by the Constitutional Court based on procedural errors made during the trial. He was released after spending nearly 5 years both in custody and prison. He is set to stand in a retrial. In 2017, he was sentenced to ​4 and a half in another case, yet to be confirmed by the upper courts.

Share This Article