The US Justice Department used "false" evidence in its extradition request for Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash, investigative journalist John Solomon has claimed in an article for The Hill.
His article entitled "How Mueller deputy Andrew Weissmann's offer to an oligarch could boomerang on DOJ" looks into documents submitted by Firtash's lawyers to an Austrian court as evidence of alleged prosecutorial wrongdoing.
According to the article, a key document submitted to Austrian authorities to support Firtash’s extradition was portrayed by DOJ as having come from Firtash’s corporate files and purported to show he sanctioned a bribery scheme in India.
"In fact, the document was created by the McKinsey consulting firm as part of a hypothetical ethics presentation for the Boeing Co. and had no connection to Firtash’s firm," it reads.
Solomon noted that McKinsey claims in an official statement that it had no knowledge of a bribery scheme by Firtash, and the PowerPoint’s use of the phrase “bribery payments” never came from Firtash or his company and were, instead, hypothetical “assumptions by McKinsey about standard business practices in India”, according to the new Austrian court filing.
"Firtash’s U.S. legal team told me it alerted Weissmann to DOJ’s false portrayal of the McKinsey document in 2017, but he downplayed the concerns and refused to alert the Austrian court. The document was never withdrawn as evidence, even after the New York Times published a story last December questioning its validity," he said.
"Submitting a false and misleading document to a foreign sovereign and its courts for an extradition decision is not only unethical but also flouts the comity of trust necessary for that process where judicial systems rely only on documents to make that decision," Firtash’s American legal team wrote in a statement to Solomon.
"DOJ’s refusal to rescind the document after being specifically told it is false and misleading is an egregious violation of U.S. and international law," he concluded.