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Croatia court convicts ex-PM, Hungary's MOL chief of bribery

ZAGREB, Croatia — A Croatian court on Monday convicted a former Croatian prime minister and a the head of Hungary’s MOL energy group of bribery, in a corruption case dating back a decade.

The Zagreb County Court sentenced ex-Croatian PM Ivo Sanader to six years in prison and MOL’s CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors Zsolt Hernadi to two years, the Croatian public broadcaster HRT said.

The court ruled that Hernadi agreed to pay Sanader 10 million euros ($11 million) to enable MOL to gain control of Croatia’s oil and gas firm INA.

In Hungary, the MOL group expressed “disappointment” with the verdict and insisted there has been no wrongdoing. MOL said Hernadi enjoys the company’s full support.

Both Hernadi and Sanader have denied the charges and were absent from the courtroom. Hungary has in the past rejected a Croatian arrest warrant.

Sanader has faced several corruption charges related to his 2003-2009 term in office.

Monday’s ruling can be appealed.

The Associated Press