Heart Problems Delay Trial of Ex-Croatian PM

Posted October 28th, 2011 at 10:15 am (UTC-5)
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Former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader left a Zagreb courtroom at the start of his corruption trial Friday, and headed instead to a hospital for testing.

Mr. Sanader arrived at the Zagreb court complaining of chest pains. He apologized to the judge for his casual attire and said he had been told he was going to be taken to the hospital for ongoing heart problems.

The judge then postponed the trial, saying medical tests were necessary and that, as a result, “the conditions for a trial to be held were not met.”

Mr. Sanader stepped down as prime minister in 2009. Prosecutors charged him last month with accepting a bribe in dealings with an Austrian bank and embezzling millions of dollars from state-run firms.

He is also facing several investigations for abuse of power.

Mr. Sanader was arrested in Austria last December and extradited to Croatia where he has been in jail since July. He denies any wrongdoing.

Fighting corruption is one of the key criteria Zagreb has to meet to join the European Union.

Mr. Sanader's trial is now scheduled to start November 3.