Zsolt Hernadi, chairman of Hungarian energy group MOL, will be tried in absentia on graft charges linked to MOL’s purchase of Croatian oil and gas firm INA, a Croatian court said Tuesday.
“The indictment against Hernadi has been confirmed and he will be tried in absentia,” according to Kresimir Devcic, the Zagreb county court’s spokesman.
A report in Petro Global News said Hernadi is charged with giving former Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader $13.62 million in exchange for MOL gaining management control over INA, without formally becoming its majority owner.
Its dominant management position was formalized in a shareholder agreement signed in 2009.
Sanader has already been sentenced to 10 years in prison in the same bribery case.
The Croatian government now owns under 45 percent of INA, while MOL owns around 50 percent.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.