Croatian public broadcaster HRT has reported that former prime minister Ivo Sanader has been arrested in Austria, a day after he left Zagreb amid suspicion of corruption.
Earlier on Friday police issued an international arrest warrant for Sanader, who left the country yesterday hours after prosecutors asked parliament to strip him of his immunity from prosecution.
Parliament agreed on Thursday afternoon to lift Sanader’s parliamentary immunity amid suspicion of corruption.
Sanader, who is currently an independent MP, crossed the Croatia-Slovenia border on Thursday morning, but police did not stop him as no arrest warrant had been issued at that time.
Members of the Croatian Democratic Party, HDZ, which Sanader previously headed, have been the focus of several corruption investigations in the country.
On Monday former Croatian defence minister Berislav Roncevic, who served under Sanader, was convicted of corruption and sentenced to four years in prison.
After leading Croatia for a number of years, Sanader stepped down as prime minister unexpectedly in July 2009 and largely disappeared from the political spotlight. He returned to the country’s political scene in October this year as an MP, prompting speculation that fear of prosecution had drawn him back.