16:42 30.03.2023

French court refuses to extradite Zhevaho to Ukraine

2 min read
French court refuses to extradite Zhevaho to Ukraine

A court in the city of Chambéry (France) on Thursday rejected the request of the Ukrainian side for the extradition of Kostiantyn Zhevaho, according to a statement by the lawyers of the Ukrainian businessman, handed over to Interfax-Ukraine.

"The court rejected the request after careful consideration of all the case files, taking into account all the evidence and arguments provided by the defense," the lawyers said in the document.

According to the Ukrainian businessman, the decision of the French court confirms the lack of sufficient grounds for extradition and proves the groundlessness of the charges.

"This persecution contains a political motive and clear signs of a PR campaign by public law enforcement agencies. I hope the State Bureau of Investigations and the Prosecutor General's Office will finally listen to my arguments and adhere to the law in further consideration of this case," Zhevaho said in the statement.

His lawyers said that over the past four years, the businessman has repeatedly appealed and continues to appeal to the State Bureau of Investigations and the Office of the Prosecutor General with a proposal to provide evidence in order to open an objective investigation and ensure his right to fair justice. According to them, Zhevaho wants to bring the case either to closure or to consideration in court as soon as possible, but neither the State Bureau of Investigations nor the Prosecutor General's Office show interest in this, while the case damages the entrepreneur's business and personal reputation.

The Le Dauphiné libéré French edition said the court, in its decision to refuse extradition, indicated that Ukraine, which requested it, was at war and, in such an uncertain situation, was unable to maintain a court guaranteeing fundamental freedoms.

The Prosecutor General's Office and the State Bureau of Investigations have not yet officially commented on the decision of the French court. A law enforcement source told the agency that the refusal to extradite is due to the inability to ensure security due to hostilities, and whether a decision will be made to file an appeal will be finally clear after receiving official court documents.

Earlier, Zhevaho himself predicted that any decision of the French court on his extradition would be appealed, so the process would continue for several more months.

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