Brno, June 22 (CTK) – Shahram Abdullah Zadeh, a Czech businessman of Iranian origin charged with huge tax evasion in fuel trading, will stay in a custody prison, the Regional Court in Brno has decided, its spokeswoman Eva Sigmundova told CTK today.

This decision cannot be appealed, she said.

Zadeh’s lawyer Alena Kojzarova told CTK that the court said it would not release her client because he might escape. She said she considers the argument absurd. The decision is arbitrary and it is not based on law, she added.

The regional court met the appeal of the state attorney and it abolished the verdict of a lower-level court issued in April.

Zadeh has been in custody to prevent him from approaching a witness.

Zadeh was arrested three years ago. Along with accomplices, he is suspected of tax evasion related to the imports of hundreds of millions of litres of fuel from Slovenia and Germany to the Czech Republic in 2012-2013. The police consider him the chief organiser of a 2.5 billion-crown fraud, in which 65 companies used false tax returns and stooges. Zadeh pleads innocent.

Zadeh spent 22 months in detention and he was released on a record-high bail, but in December 2016 he was detained again due to the suspicion that he tried to approach a witness.

Zadeh’s defence repeatedly complained about various steps taken by Czech authorities in the case.

($1=23.565 crowns)