June 14, 2018 / 12:05 PM / in 5 months

Bosnian police arrest fugitive ex-Dinamo Zagreb soccer chief Mamic

FILE PHOTO: Zdravko Mamic in Zagreb, Croatia, December 18, 2015. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic/File Photo

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Bosnian police on Thursday arrested Zdravko Mamic, a fugitive ex-boss of soccer club Dinamo Zagreb, on a warrant from Croatia which has sentenced him to 6 1/2 years in prison for tax evasion and siphoning off profits from player transfers.

Mamic, who holds dual Croatian and Bosnian citizenship, was sentenced in absentia last week after he had fled to Bosnia. He denied any wrongdoing and said that he aimed to stay in Bosnia to fight for his innocence.

“Mamic was arrested and he will be handed over to Bosnia’s state prosecutor in the course of the day,” a spokeswoman for Bosnia’s State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) said.

Bosnia does not extradite convicts to other countries but under a 2012 deal with Croatia extradition is possible under specific terms. But since Mamic’s offences date back to 2008-09, he is more likely to serve the jail term in Bosnia on Croatian request if the higher court confirms the verdict.

Two other former senior Dinamo officials, including Mamic’s brother and a tax official, were also sentenced for the same offences.

Mamic and his group were accused with embezzling 116 million kuna ($18.58 million) from transfers of players, and of tax evasion worth 12.2 million kuna.

Dinamo have been Croatia’s most successful club since independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, winning 19 championships.

Reporting by Maja Zuvela; Editing by Daria Sito-Sucic and Mark Heinrich

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