Hypo criminal case court opens new chapter with island of jakljan

Klagenfurt (APA) – At the Regional Court in Klagenfurt, a new chapter in the series of trials surrounding bad loans of former.

Klagenfurt (APA) – On Thursday, a new chapter in the series of proceedings concerning bad loans of the former Hypo Alpe Adria was opened at the Regional Court in Klagenfurt. It is about the financing of a tourism project on the island of Jakljan near Dubrovnik. The then Hypo board member Gunter Striedinger is accused of embezzlement; the damage is said to amount to. Euro amount. Striedinger pleaded not guilty.

The public prosecutor accuses Striedinger, who is in criminal custody because of other Hypo cases, of having granted a loan to the Croatian tourism entrepreneur and Hypo VIP customer Goran Strok in 2005 for a bid guarantee in the amount of 300.000 euros for the purchase of land on the island of Jakljan without collateral and without consulting the Supervisory Board.

He said the committees were not involved until the purchase contract for the land was already in place, or as prosecutor Norbert Ladinig put it, ". as the kas has already been eaten."The supervisory board then finally approved a loan in the amount of 6.7 million euros. Euro for the purchase of the island share, the Strok for 6 Mio. Euro had been awarded. The island was offered by Serbia at the time, but the land register said Croatia. The project never materialized.

At the time the loan for the Jakljan project was made, Strok already had a 77 million commitment, he said. Euro at Hypo and in part had economic problems, the prosecutor explained. In addition, Strok never had equity, Ladinig quoted from the testimony of one of Striedinger's ex-colleagues. The granting of the loan was therefore not economically justifiable, the expert opinion had shown that, the public prosecutor concluded.

The defense counsel pointed out that Striedinger had never withheld information from the supervisory board. In the credit manual there was a special pouvoir in the amount of 500.000 euros, which board members are allowed to decide on independently, explained lawyer Hannes Arneitz. He also pointed out that the Strok Group had been an excellent customer of Hypo and that the Bavarians had continued to finance Strok until 2008 after their share purchase. Hypo had a 33 percent stake in the Strok Group, the Adriatic Luxury Hotel Group, which Strok had sold for 10 million. Euro had been repurchased. There was no harm and no intent, the lawyer said.

Striedinger stated in his deposition that he had been informed of the ownership issue. To his knowledge, Croatia had wanted to return to Serbia the annexed island where a Serbian children's home once stood. Due to the tender by the Republic of Serbia at the end of July 2005, he assumed that there would be no problems here now.

Strok had been a man of honor for him and his verbal promise to personally pay for the 300.000 euros straight was enough for him, Striedinger said. Moreover, the departure of this major customer would have been a disaster for the bank, he said. Among other things, it also involved a large number of employee accounts.

When Strok won the bid for the island part, Striedinger instructed Hypo Belgrade to issue a guarantee for 5.7 million. Euro to spend. "With what collateral?" asked Judge Ute Lambauer. "None," Striedinger replied. This had merely been a promise to pay the Republic of Serbia. The international tender of a state and the planned mortgage security were sufficient for him as collateral, he said.

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