16:12 30.03.2012

Interpol office in Italy confirms Avakov's arrest for extradition

Interpol's bureau in Rome has confirmed that former head of Kharkiv Regional State Administration and the leader of the Kharkiv regional branch of the Batkivschyna Party Arsen Avakov has been arrested for extradition.

"Our judicial authority in Rome has confirmed the temporary arrest of the mentioned person [Avakov] for the purpose of extradition to your country on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by the judicial authority in Kharkiv on January 31, 2012," Interpol's bureau in Rome said in an official response to Interpol's bureau in Kyiv, the text of which was obtained by Interfax-Ukraine on Friday.

The document says that in accordance with the European Convention on Extradition, extradition documents should be submitted directly to the Italian Justice Ministry or through diplomatic channels within 40 days from March 27.

On Tuesday, March 27, reports of Avakov's detention in Italy were confirmed. The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office said that it was preparing a package of documents for Avakov's extradition to Ukraine. In this regard, the leadership of the Batkivschyna Party sent letters to the Interpol secretary general and the Italian government with a request to take into account "the obvious political motivation" behind Avakov's criminal prosecution, and release him.

On March 29, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office said that the judicial authorities in Italy had decided to place Avakov in custody for 40 days.

"On March 29, the judicial authorities in Italy decided on temporary detention for a period of 40 days for Arsen Avakov, who was arrested on March 26 in the city of Frosinone (Italy)," the office said in a statement.

Avakov headed Kharkiv Regional State Administration from February 2004 until February 2010. He chairs the Kharkiv regional organization of the Batkivschyna Party.

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