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Agrokor founder freed on bail as fraud investigation continues



Croatian businessman Ivica Todoric emerges from the Royal Courts of Justice, after the court ruled on his extradition, and addresses the media, in London, Britain, October 25, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

ZAGREB (Reuters) – The founder of beleaguered Croatian food producer and retailer Agrokor will be freed from jail after making a 7.5 million kuna ($1.15 million) bail payment, his lawyers said on Tuesday.

Ivica Todoric was extradited from Britain to Croatia earlier this month to face allegations of fraud totaling tens of millions of euros.

“The amount requested (by the court) has been deposited,” Cedo Prodanovic, one of Todoric’s lawyers, told reporters. The lawyers said Todoric was expected to leave prison later on Tuesday.

Together with 14 other people, mostly former top managers in Agrokor, Todoric is under investigation for his role in the debt and liquidity crisis at the company, which amounted to several billion euros. Todoric, who is not allowed to leave Zagreb without the court’s permission, denies any wrongdoing.

In a debt settlement deal confirmed last month Agrokor, which is the largest employer in the Balkans, was taken over by its creditors, the biggest of which is Russia’s largest bank Sberbank (SBER.MM)

($1 = 6.5123 kuna)

Reporting by Igor Ilic; Editing by Kirsten Donovan