Bosnian court detains Indian businessman Pramod Mittal

His arrest is in connection with suspected organised crime involvement and abuse of office at a Bosnian coke plant

Pramod Mittal speaks during a news conference in Kremikovtzi, near Sofia, February 1, 2008. REUTERS
Pramod Mittal speaks during a news conference in Kremikovtzi, near Sofia, February 1, 2008. REUTERS

A court in Bosnia on Thursday ordered a one-month detention for Indian businessman Pramod Mittal and two other officials who have been suspected of involvement with organised crime and abuse of office at a Bosnian coke plant, reports say.

Mr Mittal, younger brother of steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, heads the supervisory board and co-owns metallurgical coke producer Global Ispat Koksna Industrija Lukavac, one of the country's biggest exporters, in northern Bosnia.

Mr Mittal has been held in police custody since Tuesday, along with the company's general manager, Paramesh Bhattacharyya, and supervisory board member Razib Dash.

Prosecutor Camil Serhatlic said that Mr Mittal and the other two invoked their right to remain silent during questioning in the town of Tuzla, and that the prosecution asked the Tuzla Cantonal Court for their detention.

Regional television in Bosnia's Bosniak-Croat Federation reported that the court then ordered a one-month detention for the trio.

Neither the men nor their lawyers were immediately reachable for comment.

A spokeswoman for the company said she was not officially notified about the court's order, which occurred during evening hours on Thursday.

Police said they seized documentation, computers and mobile phones during a raid on the company on Tuesday.

Union members there said on Thursday that the plant's operation was not interrupted.

The company has about 1,000 employees in the town of Lukavac.

Last year, Bosnian police briefly detained the company's then general manager over environmental negligence.

He fled Bosnia just before the indictment against him was confirmed in early in 2019, the prosecutors said.

Updated: July 26, 2019 05:33 AM

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