A court in Croatia on Tuesday convicted former prime minister Ivo Sanader of pocketing millions in state money while in office and sentenced him to nine years in prison.
The court in Zagreb ruled that Sanader and his associates siphoned millions from state-run companies. They moved the money through both private bank accounts and the treasury of the Croatian Democratic Union party.
Sanader was ordered to return €2 million (about $2.8 million), and his former conservative party must repay about €3.8 million ($5 million).
Four other defendants were given prison sentences of up to three years.
Judge Ivana Calic said the defendants “were elected to enforce the law, not to break it.”
Sanader, 60, denied guilt and said the charges were politically motivated.
He was prime minister from 2004 to 2009.
Sanader, the highest-ranking former official ever tried in the Balkan country, was also sentenced to 10 years in prison in a separate bribery action in 2012.
In that case, he was found guilty of accepting a €10 million ($13 million) bribe from a Hungarian oil company in return for controlling rights in Croatia’s state oil company, INA.
Julie DiMauro is executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.