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Ex-Croat PM at corruption trial: I'm no criminal

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November 15, 2012 09:12 AM EST | AP


ZAGREB, Croatia — Croatia's high-profile corruption trial of former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader has ended with the prosecution urging the maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and the former leader insisting he is innocent.

In his closing argument Thursday, Sanader said "I am no criminal, but a man who won legitimacy from the Croatian people."

The Municipal Court in the capital of Zagreb will hand down the verdict Tuesday.

Sanader is the highest-ranking former official tried for alleged graft in Croatia, which has pledged to fight corruption ahead of joining the European Union in 2013. He was charged with taking bribes for a multimillion credit deal with an Austrian bank and from Hungary's company MOL to secure the controlling rights in Croatia's state oil firm.