Ivica Todoric, the founder and former owner of Croatia’s food and retail group Agrokor, will remain in investigative custody, Zagreb County Court ruled on Thursday.
The judge rejected Todoric’s lawyers request for bail and decided to extend his imprisonment due to the concern of flee attempt.
Todoric, who is suspected of illegal withdrawal of some one billion kuna (around 150 million U.S. dollars) from Agrokor, was arrested in London in November 2017. He was extradited to Croatia on Wednesday.
Todoric’s lawyers expressed dissatisfaction with the ruling and announced an appeal.
“We offered a bail and same conditions that Mr. Todoric had in England when he was on parole, but after all, we have concluded that Croatian and British judiciaries are not the same,” Todoric’s lawyer Jadranka Slokovic told reporters.
The lawyers argue that Todoric did not escape from Croatia, but has just used his legal rights in London where he spent the last year.
Todoric is the founder of Agrokor, the biggest food and retail chain in Croatia and the Balkan region. In 2017, after his company was hit by a debt crisis, the Croatian government intervened and appointed a manager that reached a debt settlement with Agrokor’s creditors.