Vienna court dismisses prosecutor's office request to detain Firtash in case on extradition to U.S.
The Vienna Regional Court for Criminal Matters has dismissed a demand of the prosecutor's office of Vienna to put Ukrainian businessman Dmytro Firtash in custody in the framework of the case for his extradition to the United States at the request of American authorities, a source familiar with the matter told Interfax-Ukraine.
"A petition of the prosecutor's office in Vienna for the extradition arrest has not been satisfied, because in 2014, EUR 125 million of bail were fully paid to the court, and the defendant undertook a commitment to regularly come to the court, not to leave the country and to surrender his foreign travel passport to the court, same as in the proceedings based on the Spanish warrant for his arrest," the Austrian newspaper Kurier quoted the court's ruling.
"This ruling and the release on bail are valid until the actual handover of Firtash to the U.S, authorities," the newspaper said.
The Austrian news agency APA said that the prosecutor's office has 14 days to appeal this ruling at the Higher Regional Court of Vienna.
As reported, after the court dismissed on February 23, 2017, Spain's request for Firtash's arrest, representative of the Vienna prosecutor's office demanded the businessman be detained under the existing criminal case on his extradition to the United States.
Meanwhile, Firtash's defense lawyers argue that the Spanish investigation is not only related to the same charges which were filed by the U.S. authorities in Illinois, but also were submitted to the Spanish authorities at the instructions of the prosecutor of Chicago. "It's all part of the same story – Firtash's political persecution," the lawyer said.
Chairman of Group DF Dmytro Firtash was arrested in Austria on March 12, 2014 at the request of U.S. authorities. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the accused attempted to pay a bribe worth $18.5 million to receive a permit for mining operations in India.
The Vienna Regional Court for Criminal Matters ruled on Firtash's extradition-related arrest but then decided to release him on EUR 125 million bail on condition he would not leave Austria. On April 30, 2015, the same court ruled not to extradite Firtash to the United States.
On, February 21, the Higher Regional Court in Vienna granted the prosecution's request to extradite Ukrainian businessman Dmytro Firtash to the U.S. at the request of U.S. authorities.
According to the ruling, the Federal Minister of Justice takes the final decision on extradition.