Croatian Prime Minister wanted by Interpol over corruption charges

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Croatian Prime Minister wanted by Interpol over corruption charges

Croatia issued an international arrest warrant for former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader. He is wanted by Interpol, according to Associated Press. Former head of government charged with corruption.

A warrant was issued the evening of Thursday, 9 December, but Sanader managed to escape. The Guardian newspaper referring to the Croatian police says that he went by car to neighboring Slovenia in the morning.

The former prime minister who dominated Croatian politics for most of the past decade fled the country today as state prosecutors moved to have him arrested in connection with a major sleaze investigation.

According to cables from the US Zagreb embassy released by WikiLeaks, Ivo Sanader, the centre-right politician who stood down suddenly as prime minister in summer last year, features in several of the corruption cases currently terrorising the Croatian political class.

The country’s chief prosecutor told US diplomats in Zagreb this year he had evidence that Sanader had arranged a bank loan for a business crony in return for a kickback.

The former prime minister was driven across the border into Slovenia today by his daughter, Croatian police reported, after the prosecutor’s office told parliament it wanted to detain him. A special parliament committee promptly lifted Sanader’s parliamentary immunity from prosecution, but not before he had left the country.

Sanader lived for many years in Innsbruck and is believed to have Austrian citizenship. Austria is a 90-minute drive from Zagreb via Slovenia. Reports from Slovenia also said he had boarded a flight to London from Ljubljana.

Croatian police said they could not detain Sanader at the border because no warrant had been issued, fuelling suspicion that the ex-PM had been tipped off about impending arrest. President Ivo Josipovic last night criticised Sanader’s flight as a police failure and demanded the resignation of the interior minister.

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