January 22, 2016 / 4:25 PM / 3 years ago

Czech MEP, arrested in Swiss bank case, dies in Prague

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Miloslav Ransdorf, a Czech communist member of the European Parliament who was arrested in December after trying to withdraw hundreds of millions of euros from a Swiss bank, has died, his political party said on Friday.

The Czech Communist party confirmed media reports of his death on its website on Friday. No cause of death was given. Media had reported Ransdorf, 62, had checked into the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague.

Ransdorf was arrested in December along with three Slovak nationals. Swiss police said they had tried to withdraw, or transfer, 350 million euros ($378.74 million) using forged documents. Ransdorf denied after his arrest that he was trying to carry out an illegal transaction.

A former philosophy teacher and expert on Karl Mark who spoke about a dozen languages, Ransdorf entered politics in 1990 after the Velvet Revolution ended communist rule in what was then Czechoslovakia.

He won a seat in the Czech parliament in 1996 and was voted to the European Parliament in 2004 after the Czech Republic joined the European Union.

Ransdorf had been released last month just after his arrest and in public statements he did not mention facing any charges.

Reporting by Jason Hovet, editing by Larry King

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