ivo sanader.jpg
Photograph: HINA / Daniel KASAP / mm

Former prime minister and former HDZ party leader Ivo Sanader was released from prison in Zagreb shortly after 5.30 pm on Wednesday without bail or any restrictions, under a decision of the Zagreb County Court which the USKOK anti-corruption office said it would appeal although that would not stay its execution.

Defence attorneys Jadranka Slokovic, Cedo Prodanovic and Goran Suic said earlier that the basis for their client's release was a decision by the Constitutional Court. "It transpires from that decision that there is no flight risk or any other reason for ordering investigative custody," said Slokovic.

The Zagreb County Court decision came after the Constitutional Court found on Tuesday that the Supreme Court unlawfully remanded Sanader in custody by quashing the verdict in the Fimi Media case on September 30.
Sanader was in custody without interruption since November 2012, when he was sentenced in the Hypo and INA-MOL cases, a sentence which was later quashed. In late 2010, he was in custody in Austria. After Austria extradited him, he was in custody in Zagreb between July and December 2011, when he was released on HRK 12.4 million bail and remained free until November 2012.

This summer the Constitutional Court quashed a sentence against Sanader for war profiteering in the Hypo Bank case and for taking a bribe in the INA-MOL case, ordering a retrial before the Zagreb County Court, so there are no sentences against him, either final or those pending appeal. He is currently on trial in the Planinska case for taking HRK 17 million in commission.

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