The billionaire owner and president of one of Serbia’s most profitable companies, Delta Holdings, has gone on trial this week, alongside his son and nine others, for fraud and tax evasion.
Miroslav Miskovic, 68, is accused of siphoning millions of euros from a now bankrupt road repair company between 2005 and 2010. He faces 10 years in prison if found guilty.
According to Reuters, Miskovic told the court he was not guilty at the first day of his trial on Thursday, along with his son, Marko.
Miskovic was arrested by police in December last year, and was bailed in July for a record €12 million.
Delta Holdings has also denied any wrongdoing and revealed it had suffered “substantial harm” due to the charges against its president.
In March, the company established a website about Miskovic, which argued that the case against him was flawed and also detailed his business successes and philanthropic activities.
In a statement released at the time, Delta Holding executive vice president for operations Dejan Jeremic said: “This website is an answer to Miroslav’s critics who have sought to malign his character, choosing to ignore his long track record of public service and entrepreneurship and instead subscribe to a flawed and politically-motivated caricature.”
Miskovic created Delta Holding, one of the first private businesses in Serbia, during the collapse of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
The insurance, retail and real estate empire employs more than 7,000 people and is projected to turnover €700 million this year.