Country jails its richest man

For allegedly enriching himself from a privatisation deal

BELGRADE, Serbia - A judge has ordered Serbia’s richest man to spend 30 days in prison, pending trial, after his arrest on suspicion of corruption.

Billionaire retail tycoon Miroslav Miskovic, one of the Balkan country’s most influential figures, was arrested along with his son Marko and eight others.

The arrests are in connection with the privatization of several Serbian road construction companies in 2005, during which the suspects allegedly gained illegal profits of about ?30 million ($39 million).

Miskovic, his son and four others were handed 30 days in jail on Friday.

The rest were freed pending trial.

The arrest was part of an anti-corruption sweep launched by Serbia’s new nationalist-led government. Critics say the campaign has mostly been aimed at political opponents.

Serbia must fight widespread graft to fulfill its goal of joining the EU.