Croatian television is reporting that the former prime minister Ivo Sanader, wanted by the authorities over corruption allegations, has been arrested in Austria. He left the country shortly before parliament lifted his immunity from prosecution.
An international warrant was issued, saying Sanader was wanted for “abuse of office” and being part of a “joint criminal enterprise.”
He has claimed the accusations against him are politically motivated.
As police searched his home in the centre of Zagreb this morning the former leader denied he had fled in a statement issued through his lawyer.
Sanader became prime minister in 2003 and resigned suddenly, with no explanation, six years later.
Analysts believe the move against the man who dominated political life for a decade could help Zagreb’s EU membership bid. Croatia has to convince Brussels of its determination to stamp out corruption before it can conclude entry talks.