Court Extends Detention for Serbia’s Richest Man by Three Months

Miroslav Miskovic, Serbia’s richest man, will remain in detention for another three months as an investigation continues into alleged corruption in the sale of state road companies, a court in Belgrade said.

Miskovic, 67, and his son Marko will be detained until June 9, Mirjana Piljic, media coordinator for the Court of Appeals in Belgrade, said by phone today. The prosecutors will have until June 9 to raise an indictment “or they must be released,” Piljic said by phone today.

The decision was made a day after the chief prosecutor for organized crime, Miljko Radisavljevic, urged the Court of Appeals yesterday to extend the detention.

Miskovic, the owner of closely-held Delta Holding, with interests in insurance, agriculture and property development, and his son were arrested on Dec. 12 on suspicion of illegally earning more than 30 million euros ($39 million) in the sale of state road companies. They have been kept in detention since then to make sure they don’t flee the country nor “disturb the public.”

Serbia needs to step up the fight against corruption and organized crime as part of efforts to convince the European Union that it’s fit for membership talks. The government is reviewing the sale of 24 companies after criticism from the European Parliament and is waiting on a date to begin entry negotiations.

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