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Thursday
Nov212013

Global Contagion Report: Hrvatska Elektroprivreda (HEP Group)

Country: Croatia

Company Involved: Hrvatska Elektroprivreda (HEP Group)

Industry: Utilities

Individuals: Former Croatian Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Ivo Sanader, former HEP board chair Ivan Mravak, HEP Supervisory Board member Zdenko Juricic and owner of Dioki, Robert Jezic 

Enforcement Action: Charged

Summary: Former Croatian Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Ivo Sanader has been charged with defrauding state-run power provider, HEP, of over $114 million by encouraging former HEP board chair Ivan Mravak to sell electricity to two aluminum-producing firms, the Sibenik-based TLM light metal factory and Bosnia's Aluminij company, below the market price.

Mravak has pleaded guilty and will be the key witness for the prosecution. He is currently serving time for giving HEP money to his and Sanader's political party, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ). Former HEP Supervisory Board member Zdenko Juricic has also been charged for his role in defrauding the state.

A previous indictment saw Sanader being charged with forcing HEP to supply cheap electricity to Dioki, a petrochemical firm owned by his friend, Robert Jezic. 

Sanader also faces charges he took a $13.5 million bribe from MOL in exchange for the company's stake in Croatian oil and gas company, INA.

He is currently serving a ten-year jail term for taking over $600,000 in bribes from Austria's Hypo bank in 1994 in exchange for allowing the company access to the Croatian market.