Bloomberg News

Croatian Government Urges Prosecutor to Protect INA State Stake

October 27, 2011

Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Croatia’s government asked the Prosecutor General to “take all the necessary measures” to protect its ownership and management rights in INA Industrija Nafte d.d, a refinery controlled by Hungary’s Mol Nyrt.

Prosecutors should start with court proceedings and adopt temporary measures following a criminal procedure involving former Premier Ivo Sanader and Mol executives, according to a Cabinet conclusion read by Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor today.

The European Commission advised the Croatian government to drop a draft law capping non-state holdings in Croatia’s biggest refiner, it said yesterday, citing European Union rules. Croatia is slated to become the trading bloc’s 28th member.

Sanader is accused of taking a bribe of 10 million euros ($13.6 million) from Mol, Hungary’s largest refiner, as premier between 2008 and 2009. In exchange, he allegedly agreed to give Mol management rights in INA in a January 2009 shareholding agreement, according to the Prosecutor General’s office. Sanader has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Mol holds 47.47 percent of the company, with an option to buy another 1.6 percent. The government owns 44.84 percent.

--Editors: Balazs Penz, Andrew Langley

To contact the reporter on this story: Jasmina Kuzmanovic in Zagreb at jkuzmanovic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net


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