BBC News, 9 May 2011
- Austria asked to extradite Croat
- Croatia ex-PM arrested in Austria
- Croatia ex-PM leaves amid inquiry
A court in Austria has decided to extradite the former Croatian Prime Minister, Ivo Sanader, to Croatia to face corruption charges.
|Mr Sanader has been in detention|
in Salzburg since his arrest last
His lawyers swiftly lodged an appeal against extradition, so he will remain in custody in the town of Salzburg until a decision is taken on that.
Mr Sanader was arrested in Austria in December, a day after Croatia had lifted his immunity from prosecution.
He is suspected of abuse of power and embezzlement. He denies any wrongdoing.
Mr Sanader, 57, says the charges are politically motivated. He was in power in 2004-09.
There are suspicions that Mr Sanader diverted state budget money into a secret slush fund for his conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ).
Croatia's handling of this case will be under close scrutiny in the European Union, which is nearing the end of complex negotiations on Croatia's accession.
EU officials have voiced confidence that the negotiations can be wrapped up this year. That would make Croatia the 28th EU member state.