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news 23 Feb 12

Serbian Folk Star Ceca Set Free

Fans of Serbian folk singer Svetlana Raznatovic Ceca have been celebrating her freedom after eight months spent under house arrest.

BIRN
Belgrade
Ceca, Photo by Beta
Ceca performing, Photo by Beta

"Ceca cried as they took her bracelet off", "Only three times out of the house," and "Beautiful and Free" were just some of the sympathetic headlines in Serbian newspaper on Thursday.

They were a response to the liberation of Serbian turbo-folk diva Ceca, who was set free after 245 days under house arrest for the embezzlement of millions of euros in illegal transfers of socer players.  

Dozens of her fans waited in front of her Belgrade villa for the great event. One girl wore a T-shirt which read "For better or for worse we are always here for you, Ceca."

The diva, however, decided to spend the day without any fanfare, celebrating in the company of family and friends.

But she did wave to her fans through a window and post a quick message on her Twitter account. "It is time to devote myself to my family, career and audience," she wrote.

In May 2011, Ceca pleaded guilty to misappropriating millions of euros while trading football players to foreign clubs from the domestic club FC Obilic, which she headed following the death of her mafia boss husband, Zeljko Raznatovic “Arkan”.

Instead of a 12-year prison sentence, the maximum sentence for such a crime, Ceca spent eight months under house arrest after a court in Belgrade approved her plea bargain with prosecutors on May 9.

Under the terms of the deal, Ceca also had to pay a fine of 1.5 million euros in three instalments.

While under house arrest, her fans created a Facebook fan page on which they traded plastic ankle bracelets modelled on those of their idol. Other fans made a special song for her.

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