The trial of former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader was adjourned on Friday before arraignment after an expert witness established that due to health problems, Sanader was unfit for the hearing.
Sanader was brought to the Zagreb County Court 20 minutes later than scheduled because, as presiding Judge Ivan Turudic said, he was not brought from the Remetinec prison on time.
Sanader was not wearing handcuffs and was walking with a stick because of a troubled leg, which he injured while in custody in Salzburg, Austria. Upon arrival, he nodded to the press.
Apart from Turudic, the panel of judges comprised Ivana Krsul and Dusanka Zastavnikovic Duplancic.
Sanader apologised to the panel for not wearing a shirt and jeans, saying he thought he was being taken to hospital and not to the courthouse.
"I would like to apologise for coming dressed like this because I was told I was going to hospital," he said, adding that he was to have been taken to a cardiologist because of the health problems he had been experiencing for some time.
"I expected to be released on bail and do a checkup at home. On Sunday, I requested medical assistance again and was ordered a coronarography. This morning I was told I was going to hospital, so that's why I came here dressed like this. Otherwise I would have come in a suit," said Sanader.
Asked by Judge Turudic how he was feeling, Sanader said he had the same symptoms as in the last couple of weeks - extrasystoles, high blood pressure and such.
Asked if he felt fit to follow the hearing, Sanader said doctors and his lawyers told him he was irresponsible about his health.
"I can't take the responsibility. I think we have the leading cardiologists and court experts, so they should decide. My position is that I will accept the court expert's decision," said Sanader.
Expert Vladimir Gasparovic said Sanader had been complaining about his health for several weeks now and that a checkup revealed an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and irregular metabolism of fats which, combined with his age and family medical history represented "risky coronary factors."
"A coronarography was recommended on September 5 but has not been done and on October 23 he requested medial assistance. He was examined on October 27, when a coronarography was again recommended before the court hearing. This morning, during a talk with the patient, he complained again about a sometime irregular heartbeat and chest pressure," said Gasparovic.
In conclusion, he said Sanader was to have been hospitalised at Rebro today. Responding to a question from Judge Turudic, he said a stressful situation such as a court hearing could pose a risk and that he was not fit for trial.
"I feel a coronarography should be given precedence over the trial," said Gasparovic.
He explained that blood vessels could be expanded during a coronarography, which would momentarily reduce the risk of a heart attack. He said the trial could resume in a few days if no major blood vessel constriction was established or in a week at the latest if stent implantation was necessary.
Another court expert, Dusan Zecevic, agreed with Gasparovic, so the trial was adjourned before the indictment was read out and scheduled to resume on November 3.
Adjourning the hearing, Judge Turudic said the accused should have done a medical checkup before the beginning of the trial.
"I think it's wrong. You had the possibility to do the checkup earlier and be fit today. For the time being, we will not interpret this as an intention to stall the proceedings, although you had two and a half months to get better, yet you counted on the decision of the investigating judge to grant bail, on which you had no influence," said Turudic.
Friday, 28. Octobar 2011 at 17:18
Source: tportal, bhnews
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