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Zsolt Hernadi

Zsolt Hernadi, chairman of Hungarian energy group MOL, will be tried in absentia on graft charges linked to MOL’s purchase of Croatian oil and gas firm INA, a Croatian court announced on Tuesday.

“The indictment against Hernadi has been confirmed and he will be tried in absentia,” said Kresimir Devcic, the Zagreb county court’s spokesman.

Hernadi is charged with giving former Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader $13.62 million in exchange for MOL obtaining a dominant management position in INA, without formally becoming its majority owner.

In 2009, MOL’s dominant position was formalized in a shareholder agreement.

Sanader has already been sentenced to 10 years in prison in the same bribery case.

The Croatian government now owns under 45 percent of INA, while MOL owns around 50 percent.