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Croatia's Former PM Flees Country


Former Croatian Prime Minster Ivo Sanader talks during a news conference at the government building in Zagreb, Croatia, 1 Jul 2009 (file photo)

Former Croatian Prime Minster Ivo Sanader talks during a news conference at the government building in Zagreb, Croatia, 1 Jul 2009 (file photo)

Croatian police say former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader has fled the country, hours after officials probing government graft asked parliament to lift his immunity from prosecution.

A police spokesman in the capital, Zagreb, said Sanader crossed into neighboring Slovenia Thursday morning. He said police at the time had no basis for stopping him.

It was not immediately clear what charges against him are under consideration, or if an arrest warrant had been issued.

Sanader abruptly resigned as prime minister in July 2009 and withdrew from politics. In October he appeared before a government panel investigating the 2009 sale of Croatia's state-run oil company.

The committee wants to know details of why the INA oil firm was privatized and why a Hungarian firm gained effective control of one of Croatia's largest companies.

Sanader testified at the hearing that most leaders of Croatia's ruling conservative party (HDZ) including current Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, were aware of the deal.

An anti-corruption advocate and one of two deputy prime ministers at the time of the sale, Kosor has said she was not involved.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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