A Croatian court has sentenced former prime minister Ivo Sanader to two and a half years in prison for war profiteering following his retrial in a high-profile corruption case.
The County Court of Zagreb ruled that Sanader also must return about half a million euro ($A810,000) in kickbacks he took in a deal with Austria’s Hypo Bank in the 1990s.
The court said Sanader, who was deputy foreign minister at the time, was guilty of war profiteering because he acted for his own benefit rather than Croatia’s during its 1992-95 war.
Sanader went on to serve as prime minister from 2003 to 2009. He is the highest-ranking official to be tried for corruption in Croatia.
The sentence was shorter than the three years Sanader had received previously. Sanader’s lawyers said they would appeal, calling the verdict “absolutely baseless”.
Croatian state TV said Sanader was acquitted on Monday in a separate corruption case. Altogether, prosecutors have filed five corruption cases against Sanader since 2010.
The ex-prime minister was the leader of the ruling conservative Croatian Democratic Union party.