Today the Chief Magistrate of England and Wales, Emma Arbuthnot, has ordered that Ivica Todoric be extradited to Croatia to face fraud charges. The Croatian businessman is the owner of the biggest employer in the Balkans, Agrokor. The Chief Magistrate said that there was significant evidence of fraud and that the Croatian authorities were in the advanced stages of the investigation and wanted Mr Todoric to face trial alongside 14 other alleged fraudsters. Mr Todoric’s main ground for contesting extradition was his belief that his prosecution is politically motivated. The Chief Magistrate dismissed this argument out of hand as a “conspiracy theory.” The Chief Magistrate accepted that the case did have a political element because Agrokor represented 15% of Croatia’s GDP, however, she reasoned that given the compelling evidence against Mr Todoric he should be extradited. The Chief Magistrate also remanded Mr Todoric on bail which included conditions to report daily to a local police station and subjected him to a nightly curfew. This decision means that Mr Todoric has 7 days to appeal that decision and failing an attempt to appeal he will be extradited to Croatia within the next 10 days.

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