Contrary to the predictions of most experts, the court in Vienna were allowed to give US one of the richest Ukrainians Dmytro Firtash. Now the fate of a billionaire, was taken into custody in the courtroom, decides the Ministry of justice of Austria. Earlier, Firtash was involved in the transit of gas from Russia to the West, and American security officials can use the prisoner for a new information campaign against Russia.
The Vienna Higher regional court quashed the lower court 2015 refusal of extradition in the USA the former oligarch, one of the richest Ukrainians Dmytro Firtash. However, the judge said that will decide the fate of Firtash now the Ministry of justice of Austria. Firtash, who came to the meeting along with his wife Lada, had just promised to challenge this decision and was taken into custody directly in the courtroom.
“The Americans will offer Firtash in exchange for testimony against senior management of Russian involvement in corruption schemes, the possibility of freedom”
As reported by “Interfax”, the Board of the Higher regional court of Vienna was in session more than three hours, listening to the appeal of the Prosecutor’s office on refusal to extradite Firtash in the USA. The session started with the laconic speech of a representative of the Prosecutor’s office, which took only a quarter of an hour. He reported on some new data obtained from the United States after the decision of the court of first instance on 30 April 2015, which denied a request to extradite Firtash in the ocean. The Prosecutor also announced new charges against the businessman, who came from Spain.
Protection of the billionaire was a strong – a team of four lawyers, led by former Minister of justice Dieter Bohmdorfer. The defenders played more than two hours, insisting on the groundlessness of the accusations, their political bias and lack of grounds for extradition. In particular, the lawyer Rudiger Shender said that the US request for extradition of a Ukrainian citizen accused of committing a crime in India, in General is absurd. According to counsel, the Austrian justice is alien to the norm of American law on extraterritoriality of the sentences American courts. The sender also pointed out inconsistencies in the testimony of the Indian officials about the possible bribe.
Protection again rejected the accusation of the Prosecutor’s office based on the documents, U.S. law enforcement agencies, on Firtash’s alleged connection with the Russian mafia, including with businessman Simeon Mogilevich. “This accusation is unfounded and is based on two telephone conversations six years ago, which was selectively quoted, without the voice of Dmitry Firtash”, – said the lawyer, Christian Hausmaninger. According to him, on the political side of things is also evident in the performances of the two former politicians – the US Ambassador in Kiev Jeffrey Payette and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, confirming the close connection of Ukrainian and American officials in hunting for Firtash – in order to remove “his people” from the gas trade. Commenting on the actions of the Spanish judiciary, the attorney pointed out the Spanish Prosecutor with the United States.
The billionaire donated the last word
The judge granted Firtash to have the final say, but the businessman refused it, joining the arguments of the defense. Before the meeting, he promised to reporters in the event of a favorable verdict at last to return to Ukraine. However, he gave such promises before.
Firtash was arrested in Vienna in March 2014 at the request of the FBI. He was placed in a detention center and was charged with the creation of a “criminal group”, as well as in bribing officials in India to win the tender for the development of titanium deposits. Oligarch in extradition case could face up to 50 years in prison and confiscation of all assets. But less than 10 days Firtash was released on record bail of 125 million euros.
The Vienna regional court on 30 April 2015 refused to extradite Firtash in the United States, seeing the us charges against him politically motivated. The judge even allowed the former oligarch to leave the country, including home. However, Firtash, zasobiralsya was in Kiev, was forced to stay. In Kiev, he publicly warned that upon returning immediately arrested. To the airport Borispol chief of the interior Ministry Arsen Avakov even dispatched fighters the shelf “Azov”.
Immediately after the news from Vienna to Kiev Firtash hinted at the possibility of the deal. Advisor Avakov, Verkhovna Rada Deputy Anton Gerashchenko noted that “American justice” can not be bribed. “It can only agree. If Firtash will offer to take his corrupt connections in the Russian Federation – and for anybody not a secret that he had a large arrangement with the leaders of the Russian Federation concerning gas supplies, relative to other economic issues, I think that the Americans will offer Firtash in exchange for testimony against senior management of Russian involvement in corruption schemes, the possibility of freedom,” the MP, according to UNIAN.
Otherwise, says Gerashchenko, Firtash can get a very long time in an American prison, as it were, for example, ex-Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, who received 14 years for money laundering. The American press last week also noted that the Firtash case can show the true attitude of President Donald trump to Ukraine.
Most experts on Wednesday morning predicted that the court decides in favor of Firtash. Among them, for example, was the Director of the Ukrainian Institute of policy analysis and management Ruslan Bortnik. Now he believes that judges are influenced by the change of position of Washington.
“The United States continues to see Firtash as the key to the Russian leadership. He knows oil and gas trading scheme in Russia. This key someone really needs, the new administration including. So it was decided. It cannot be excluded that this is the work of opponents of trump, which is full in the American establishment. They believe that Firtash is the link with Russia, trying to worsen and further complicate the achievement of any of the agreements of Putin and the tramp”, – Bortnik suggested in an interview with the newspaper LOOK.
As for the Ukrainian authorities, then, according to the analyst, they are still very do not want to see Firtash in Kiev. And it’s not that the fugitive oligarch knows a lot about the background of the election of Peter Poroshenko President, which he and his channels were supported during the elections in spring 2014. “Before the revolution, Firtash was part of the team of Yanukovych, and after the revolution, he did not actually work in Ukraine”, – said Bortnik.
The expert is sure that if an oligarch owns a serious and exclusive information, it is unlikely that she “is able to blow up the plane” – I’m afraid Firtash “another reason”. “His finances, his media and political weight in Ukraine in case of return will be a major destabilizing factor. Appear first, relatively speaking, the oligarch openly opposed to Poroshenko. Here speech goes about a personal relationship. Poroshenko, most likely, has not fulfilled the promises made by Firtash during the partition of power. That’s why around this oligarch can unite different kinds of opposition forces. That is why such a return is highly undesirable for the authorities, and she will do everything to ensure that it did not take place”, – said the analyst.
Meanwhile, after the trial it became clear that Firtash was detained on another occasion – at the request of the Spanish Prosecutor’s office. “Firtash was detained in Vienna on request of the Spanish authorities on the basis of a European warrant of arrest,” – said TASS, the Prosecutor Nina Bussek. The representative of the businessman could not confirm this information. Informed observers have already expressed the conjecture that the Spanish request almost duplicates the American and it took the Americans to be safe, in any case not to let Firtash out.