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Serbia's top tycoon Miroslav Miskovic goes on trial on charges of embezzlement, tax evasion

  • e0b61c6365231726430f6a7067003f56.jpg

    Serbian tycoon Miroslav Miskovic, center, walks past the media as he arrives for the start of his court case on charges alleging embezzlement and tax evasion, in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013. The court case against Miskovic, one of Serbia's richest tycoons who runs multi-facetted conglomerate businesses, started Thursday amidst allegations that the case is politically motivated. Miskovic denies all the charges against him. (AP Photo/ Marko Drobnjakovic)The Associated Press

  • 31eb94c965221726430f6a706700558e.jpg

    Serbian tycoon Miroslav Miskovic, center, walks past the media as he arrives for the start of his court case on charges alleging embezzlement and tax evasion, in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013. The court case against Miskovic, one of Serbia's richest tycoons who runs multi-facetted conglomerate businesses, started Thursday amidst allegations that the case is politically motivated. Miskovic denies all the charges against him. (AP Photo / Marko Drobnjakovic)The Associated Press

Serbia's top tycoon has gone on trial on charges of embezzlement and tax evasion, a high-profile case the government has hailed as an important step in efforts to curb corruption in the Balkan nation.

Miroslav Miskovic, his son Marko and nine others are facing up to ten years in prison each if convicted in the proceedings that started Thursday before Serbia's anti-corruption court.

Miskovic, one of the richest people in impoverished Serbia, is the owner of Delta Holding. The company has retail, real estate, insurance and agriculture businesses in Serbia and the rest of the Balkans.

Prosecutors allege that Miskovic and the others siphoned off millions of dollars from a road construction company and evaded paying taxes.