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Serbian Tycoon Sentenced to Five Years For Tax Evasion

Miroslav Miskovic arriving at his Belgrade trial.

Miroslav Miskovic arriving at his Belgrade trial.

A court in Serbia has sentenced one of the richest business tycoons in the Balkans to five years in prison on tax evasion charges.

The court on June 20 found 70-year-old Miroslav Miskovic guilty of helping his son Marko Miskovic evade paying some 3 million euros ($3.4 million) in taxes linked to his road construction company.

Marko Miskovic already has been sentenced to 3.5 years for the same offense.

Miroslav Miskovic denies the charges.

His lawyer Zdenko Tomanovic said the trial suffered under strong political pressure, adding that the defense team will appeal.

The businessman had close political ties to the late ruler Slobodan Milosevic and was once among the most influential people in Serbia.

He created a business empire during Milosevic’s rule in the 1990s and managed to expand his business holdings after Milosevic’s ouster in 2000.

In 2007, Miskovic’s wealth was estimated at $2 billion. His fortune is thought to have grown since then.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters