Croatia sentences ex-PM Sanader to 10 years in prison for graft

ZAGREB Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:18am EST

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ZAGREB Nov 20 (Reuters) - Former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday for taking bribes from two foreign companies, becoming the highest state official to be convicted of corruption in the future European Union member state.

A Zagreb county court found Sanader guilty of taking payments from Austrian Hypo Alpe Adria Bank in 1995 and from Hungary's energy group MOL in 2008. Sanader has denied wrongdoing, dismissing the trial as politically motivated.

Croatia is due to join the EU in July 2013. Its efforts to fight crime and graft will be carefully monitored before then.

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