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Bosnian Bank Owner, Three Others Arrested Over Loan To Srpska President

Bosnian officials say a bank owner and three other officials have been arrested in a controversy over a loan to the president of Bosnia-Herzegovina's Republika Srpska.

Bosnia's state prosecutor's office said on February 11 the arrest of Slobodan Pavlovic, owner of the Pavlovic International Bank, and the three other officials (Petar Lazic, Ljiljana Garic, and Blago Blagojevic) came after raids at the bank.

Police said the arrests were made in the Bijeljina and Mostar areas and that those detained are suspected of committing "crimes of abuse of office or authority and money laundering related to the operation of the Pavlovic Bank."

Pavlovic, a U.S.-based businessman, had been questioned by prosecutors in December.

He told local media at that time that investigators were looking for evidence related to a loan the bank gave to Milorad Dodik, the Republika Srpska president.

The loan, which was reportedly for 1.5 million Bosnian marks ($870,000), was for the purchase of the villa in Belgrade in 2007.

Dodik is fighting with Bosnian state institutions over their authority in ethnic Serb areas Bosnian state institutions over Serb areas of Bosnia.

Based on reporting by Reuters and