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Police arrest Bosnian tycoon-turned-politician

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SARAJEVO (Reuters) - A Bosnian tycoon and head of a party in the ruling coalition was arrested on Monday on suspicion of obstructing justice in a move likely to shake politics, weeks before the Balkan country is expected formally to apply for European Union membership.

Fahrudin Radoncic is a former owner of Bosnia’s largest newspaper, Dnevni Avaz, and leader of the co-ruling Union for Better Future (SBB) party. His arrest follows that of two other SBB officials this month on suspicion of intimidating a witness in the high-profile trial in Kosovo of accused Balkan drug lord Naser Kelmendi.

Radoncic had criticised the arrests.

It was unclear what ramifications his arrest might have for the ruling coalition, which is just weeks away from applying for Bosnian membership of the European Union, two decades after the end of a 1992-95 war.

The police and the state prosecutor’s office said in separate statements that Radoncic was arrested on suspicion of interfering in the work of the judiciary.

Police said he was taken into custody in the town of Hadzici near the capital Sarajevo, and that it raided several other locations for evidence. Bosnian media reported that the Dnevni Avaz offices were also raided.

Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Ralph Boulton