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Bosnian Court Frees Fugitive Ex-Zagreb Soccer Coach After Arrest

Zoran Mamic resigned from his job as coach of Dinamo Zagreb last year after being found guilty of fraud involving player transfers. (file photo)

SARAJEVO -- A Bosnian court has released the former coach of Croatian soccer club Dinamo Zagreb shortly after he was held on an international arrest warrant, his lawyer told RFE/RL.

Zoran Mamic resigned from his job in March after being sentenced to four years and eight months in prison for fraud involving player transfers.

But he then failed to turn up to start his prison term and fled to neighboring Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Mamic, who holds dual Croatian and Bosnian citizenship, was detained in the southwestern Bosnian town of Medjugorje on May 19 on an Interpol arrest warrant at the request of Croatia.

But he was later released after a court in Sarajevo denied Zagreb's request that he be remanded in custody, according to his lawyer, Zdravko Rajic.

However, Rajic said the court confiscated Mamic's passport and other personal documents and banned him from leaving the country.

The lawyer said his client's possible extradition was not discussed during the hearing because Croatia had not yet sent an official request for it.

Mamic's brother, Zdravko, served as Dinamo Zagreb executive director before fleeing to Bosnia in 2018 after being handed 6 1/2 years behind bars in the case's first-instance verdict.

Bosnian authorities have rejected a request by Croatia to extradite Zdravko Mamic.

The Mamic brothers were found guilty of siphoning off cash from player transfers that cost Dinamo more than 15 million euros ($18 million) and the state 1.5 million euros ($1.8 million).

With reporting by AFP