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.


16 dead in crush at Madagascar independence day rally

Updated 26 June 2019
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16 dead in crush at Madagascar independence day rally

  • The accident occurred outside Mahamasina Stadium, where several thousand people had gathered for a concert following the traditional military parade held to mark National Day

ANTANANARIVO: At least 16 people were crushed to death and dozens injured in Madagascar on Wednesday at a stadium hosting national independence day celebrations in the capital Antananarivo.
The bodies of sixteen victims, including three children, were stored at the mortuary of HJRA hospital in the city, AFP journalists said.
Hospital director Oliva Alison Rakoto had earlier reported 15 dead and 80 wounded.
According to witnesses at the hospital, the accident occurred in the afternoon outside the Mahamasina stadium, where several thousand people had gathered for a concert following the traditional military parade held to mark the national holiday.
At the end of a military parade, security forces opened the gates to allow spectators to leave the enclosure, causing the crowd to mass outside the stadium, witnesses said.
The police then immediately closed the gates and blocked the crowd, witnesses said, causing a deadly pile up.
“When the organizers opened the gate, we were in the front row, in the queue,” said Jean Claude Etienne Rakotoarimanana, 29, who suffered bruises from the crush.
“Suddenly people ran to get in front of us. They shoved us, some even punched us and pulled us,” he added, saying he then fainted.
In September 2018, a deadly crush killed one person and injured 30 people in similar circumstances at the entrance of the same stadium during a football match between Madagascar and Senegal.