A Croatian court on Friday ordered the detention of Hungarian oil and gas giant MOL's chief executive Zsolt Hernadi, after he failed to appear for questioning in a corruption probe.
Hernadi is suspected of striking a deal in 2008 with former Croatia's prime minister Ivo Sanader that saw it pay 10 million euros ($13.5 million) in return for assuring MOL's control of Croatian oil and gas company INA.
Sanader, who led the Croatian government from 2003 to 2009, has already been sentenced to 10 years in jail for corruption, including for receiving five million euros over the alleged MOL bribe.
Croatia's prosecutors have twice asked Hungarian authorities to question Hernadi in Hungary, and twice sought to interrogate him in Zagreb, but all the requests were denied, the court said in a statement.
The latest hearing was scheduled for September 25, and Hernadi again failed to appear.
The detention order paves the way for Croatia, an EU member since July 1, to issue a European arrest warrant, local media reported.
Hungarian prosecutors in January said they would not be filing charges against Hernadi after dropping a probe into his alleged payment of bribes to Sanader.
MOL, which has "categorically" denied bribing Sanader, holds 49.1 percent of INA's shares, while the Croatian government controls 44.84 percent of the company.