Interpol removes CEO of Hungary's Mol from wanted list

By bne IntelliNews November 18, 2016

The CEO of Hungarian oil and gas company Mol has been removed from Interpol’s wanted list, according to press reports on November 18. The move puts an end to a "pursuit" initiated by Croatia in 2013 with allegations of bribery. 

Zsolt Hernadi was charged in Croatia with bribing former prime minister Ivo Sanader to help Mol obtain a dominant position in Croatian oil and gas company INA in 2009. The Budapest Court of Appeal cleared Hernadi of such charges in 2014, but Zagreb continues to fight the Hungarian company - in which the government holds 24% - over control of INA.

Mol told MTI that the company does not know the reasons behind Interpol’s decision to remove Hernadi from the list. Unofficial suggestions claim was motivate by the fact that Hungarian authorities have already carried out the necessary proceedings.

“Mr Hernadi is surprised that Interpol has taken so long to conclude that it is inappropriate for it to assist Croatia in its dispute with Mol,” Hernadi’s lawyer told Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, Sanader was sentenced to ten years in prison in 2012 for taking bribes from Mol and Austria's Hypo Alpe Adria bank. In 2015, however, the constitutional court annulled the convictions, citing procedural errors. Croatia plans to resume a joint trial against Hernadi and Sanader, according to Bloomberg.

Croatia owns a 44.85% stake in INA, while Mol holds a 49.1% stake and management rights. The two shareholders have been locked in a long dispute over control of the company.

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