Serbian Court Moves Crime Boss Saric To Jail, Citing Flight Risk Before Retrial

Darko Saric (file photo)

BELGRADE -- A Serbian judge has ruled organized crime boss Darko Saric be remanded in custody for one month, canceling his house arrest over fears he may try to leave the country or tamper with evidence ahead of his retrial.

The judge said at a pretrial hearing on April 16 that Saric may "hide or flee and become inaccessible to the judicial authorities" as he awaits further court proceedings.

Saric is charged with organizing a group to smuggle drugs and launder money.

He was convicted in 2018 and handed a 15-year prison sentence for organizing the group. But a Supreme Court ruling in June 2021 allowed Saric to leave prison for house arrest because it found procedural issues in the handling of his case.

The criminal organization Saric organized was accused of smuggling almost six tons of cocaine from South America to Europe in 2008 and 2009.

The Supreme Court did not question the evidence brought against Saric at the original trial that convicted him, but the crime boss has maintained his innocence.