Hungary, Croatia: MOL CEO Hernadi wanted by Croatian court for privatization of INA

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Chairman of the Board and Managing Director of MOL Zsolt Hernadi was not acquitted in the Hungarian court in the case of acts of corruption in the attempted takeover of INA, as it was being argued at the end of 2014.

This leaves the possibility of further trials in Croatia on charges that he gave 10 million euros in bribes to former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader in order get the majority influence of MOL in INA. Hernadi was sued in Hungary by a former employee and one of the shareholders of MOL Ilona Banheygi, for the lost profits of 78.000 euro, arguing that the damage was caused by the collapse of the price of MOL shares after the announcement of the corruptive majority takeover of MOL in Ina. Hernadi was accused of fraud and embezzlement and bribery in an international relation. The media reported then that it was actually a maneuver with which Hernadi wanted to avoid trial in Croatia because, if released, he cannot be tried twice for the same offense.

Jutarnji brings information from the Hungarian independent research portal Atlaszo that the Court of Appeal in Budapest decided that it could not take a position regarding the motion to indict Hernadi, because the case against him was initiated by a person on who,according to the law, had no right to do so, because this person is not consider the victim in this case. Thus, the judicial council determined that due to the illegal charges the prosecution against Hernadi is suspended. Hernadi has so far remained unavailable to the Croatian judiciary authorities because the Hungarian judicial system, citing the protection of national interests, declined invitations from the State Attorney’s Office to allow his interrogation. Court in Budapest in 2014 decided free Hernadi of charges of fraud and embezzlement, and the  process for bribery in an international relation is terminated. In late 2014, the Court of Appeal delivered its judgment which was interpreted by the defense attorney of Hernadi interpreted as a final acquittal, and that it must be accepted as such by the Croatian judiciary authorities. From Uskok they claimed that this judgment can not possibly lead to the application of the institute of “res judicata” in relation to criminal proceedings on corruption charges that are being led against Hernadi at the Zagreb court, but that it is just an attempt of the Hungarian justice system to prevent his prosecution in Croatia. This new decision, according to Jutarnji list daily, excludes any doubt about the competence of the Croatian judiciary authorities in case of Hernadi, referring to the allegations of domestic legal experts that “all is clear and clean” from the published documents, since Hernadi was neither convicted, nor released with this new decision and there is no obstacle for him to be prosecuted in Croatia, transmits

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