Serbian folk singer set freeFebruary 23rd, 2012 - 2:11 pm ICT by IANS
Belgrade, Feb 23 (IANS/AKI) Serbian folk singing star Svetlana Raznatovic, known as Ceca, was set free Wednesday after spending 245 days in house arrest for embezzlement of millions of euros in illegal transfers of socer players.
Raznatovic, 39, a widow of former paramilitary commander and underground figure Zeljko Raznatovic Arkan, has been indicted for embezzling four million German marks (2 million euros) and $3.5 million in transfers of Belgrade soccer team Obilic players to foreign clubs.
But last year she made a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty in return for eight month home detention and to pay back the state 1.5 million euros. “Finally, I’m a free woman,” Ceca told Serbian media after her detention term expired.
Several of her fans waited in front of her Belgrade villa for the “happy event”, but Ceca said would spend the day without any fanfare and celebration in the company of her family and friends.
After taking several days of rest, she plans to embark on a singing tour to meet with her fans again and make up for the lost time and money, she said.
Her concerts in Belgrade stadiums have been attended by crowds exceeding 100,000 people.
Arkan was the owner of a first division Obilic scoccer club, which Ceca inherited after he was murdered in January 2000 in a gang-style killing.
According to the indictment, Ceca, her sister diverted the money from the transfer of players to their private accounts abroad, instead of paying it to the club.
Obilic eventually fell out of the first division and practically ceased to exist.
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Tags: 5 million, arkan, crowds, embezzlement, fanfare, folk singer, free woman, gang style, german marks, happy event, home detention, house arrest, indictment, private accounts, prosecutors, serbian media, soccer team, stadiums, svetlana, time and money