The Supreme Court on Wednesday partly upheld the verdict following the retrial in the Fimi Media corruption case, under which the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party was fined 3.5 million kuna, while the former PM and HDZ chief Ivo Sanader had his prison sentence cut from eight to seven years.
Sanader and his co-defendants were charged with siphoning around 70 million kuna (€9.3 million) from state-owned companies and institutions through the Fimi Media marketing agency into the HDZ’s slush funds from 2004 to 2009.
Sanader’s prison sentence of eight years, delivered by Zagreb County Court on 13 November 2020, was reduced by one year due to his poor health.
However, he was ordered to pay back HRK 14.9 million into the state budget, as an equivalent of his unlawful gain, while the HDZ was ordered to pay back HRK 14.6 million.
Former HDZ treasurer Mladen Barisic was sentenced to two years and ten months for his role in this case, while former HDZ accountant Branka Pavosevic was given 16 months, according to the Supreme Court’s final ruling.
The court confirmed the acquittal of Ratko Macek, a former spokesman for the Sanader cabinet and for the HDZ . Macek, who was given a suspended sentence at the initial trial, was acquitted at the retrial.
Nevenka Jurak, who owned the Fimi Media company and who was found guilty at the first trial, died during the retrial.
The retrial started in 2016, a year after the Supreme Court quashed a sentencing verdict handed down in 2013.
At the first trial, Sanader was sentenced to nine years and ordered to return over HRK 15 million in illegal gain, while the HDZ was ordered to pay back more than HRK 24 million and was fined HRK 5 million.
At the first trial, Barisic, Pavosevic and Jurak were given lower prison sentences and ordered to return the money. Unlike then, at the retrial they pleaded not guilty. Maček and Sanader were the only ones denying the charges from the start.