Ex-PM of Croatia gets 2 ½ years for war profiteering

Former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader was found guilty of war profiteering during the 1992-95 war. (Reuters)
Updated 22 October 2018
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Ex-PM of Croatia gets 2 ½ years for war profiteering

  • The County Court of Zagreb ruled that Sanader also must return about half a million euros ($570,000) in kickbacks he took in a deal with Austria’s Hypo Bank in the 1990s
  • The court said Sanader, who was deputy foreign minister at the time, was guilty of war profiteering because he acted for his own benefit rather than Croatia’s during its 1992-95 war

ZAGREB, Croatia: A Croatian court on Monday sentenced former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader to 2 ½ years in prison for war profiteering following his retrial in the high-profile corruption case.
The County Court of Zagreb, the capital, ruled that Sanader also must return about half a million euros ($570,000) in kickbacks he took in a deal with Austria’s Hypo Bank in the 1990s.
The court said Sanader, who was deputy foreign minister at the time, was guilty of war profiteering because he acted for his own benefit rather than Croatia’s during its 1992-95 war.
Sanader went on to serve as prime minister from 2003 to 2009. He is the highest-ranking official tried for corruption in Croatia.
Monday’s sentence was shorter than the three years Sanader received previously. Sanader’s lawyers said they would appeal.
“We believe that the verdict is absolutely baseless,” lawyer Cedo Prodanovic said.
Croatian state TV says Sanader was acquitted Monday in a separate corruption case. Altogether, prosecutors had filed five corruption cases against Sanader since 2010.
The ex-prime minister was the leader of the ruling conservative Croatian Democratic Union party.


Nepal police search for 5 missing followers of ‘Buddha Boy’

Updated 29 min 26 sec ago
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Nepal police search for 5 missing followers of ‘Buddha Boy’

  • Ram Bahadur Bamjan became famous in southern Nepal in 2005 when many believed he was able to meditate without moving for months
  • Bamjan has thousands of followers who visit him in his camps, believing he is a reincarnation of Siddhartha Gautama

KATMANDU, Nepal: Police in Nepal are searching for five missing followers of a spiritual leader who is believed by devotees to be a reincarnation of Buddha, officials said Monday.
Ram Bahadur Bamjan, also known as Buddha Boy, became famous in southern Nepal in 2005 when many believed he was able to meditate without moving for months while sitting beneath a tree with no food or water. He remains popular despite accusations of sexually and physically assaulting his followers.
Uma Prasad Chaturbedi of Nepal’s Central Investigation Bureau said police raided three of Bamjan’s camps and are keeping him under strict surveillance as they search for the five missing people.
Chaturbedi said jungle areas near the camps were dug up after they received information that bodies might be buried there, but none was found.
The families of the five missing followers have filed cases with the authorities seeking to find them.
Bamjan has thousands of followers who visit him in his camps, believing he is a reincarnation of Siddhartha Gautama, who was born in southwestern Nepal roughly 2,500 years ago and became revered as the Buddha. Buddhist scholars have been skeptical of the claims.