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Austrian appeals court grants US request to extradite Firtash

Federal Ministry of Justice to make a final decision on the extradition.

Austrian appeals court grants US request to extradite Firtash
Photo: Photo: Max Levin

The Higher Regional Court of Vienna that considered earlier today the US appeal refusal to extradite the businessman Dmytro Firtash, granted the appeal of the prosecutor's office, which represents US interests, and decided extradition permissible.

The court's decision, as reported by theinsider.ua, said that the court took the decision allowing extradition but refrained from stigmatizing the defendant as a criminal.

"The final decision rests with the federal Minister of Justice, who is to decide on the extradition. We are based on the agreement of November 26, 1999 as amended in 2010. Also, we refer to the Supplementary Agreement between the EU and the US # 11193," the judge in the case explained his.

The full ruling of the court is pending.

During the hearing, Firtash's lawyers insisted on the absence in the materials provided by the United States of evidence against the businessman and a lack of reasoning. They also pointed out to non-fulfilment of international extradition agreement by the United States.

Firtash, sitting at the defendant's table, looked shocked as the judge announced his final comments after granting the appeal by US prosecutors.

Dmytro Firtash, 50 was arrested in March 2014 by Austrian authorities in Vienna on a provisional arrest request based on charges filed in the Northern District of Illinois, USA.

The FBI say Firtash paid $18.5 million in bribes to Indian officials to ease expansion of his titanium businesses, and some of the illicit cash flowed through US banks.

The businessman went out after having paid a record for Austria bail at 125 million euros, and was released under an obligation not to leave Vienna. The case was considered only a year later. On April 30, 2015, a court refused to extradite businessman to the States citing political motivation behind the US request.