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Media: French court rejects Ukraine's appeal to extradite oligarch

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 10, 2023 11:42 PM 2 min read
Kostyantyn Zhevago leaves after his extradition hearing before the investigating chamber of the Court of Appeal of Chambery, central-eastern France, on March 16, 2023. (Jeff Pachoud/AFP via Getty Images)
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A French court has rejected an appeal from Ukraine's government to extradite Ukrainian oligarch Kostyantyn Zhevago due to procedural concerns, Reuters reported on Nov. 10, citing a court verdict the news agency had obtained.

The court concluded that Ukraine is unable to guarantee that the billionaire "will be tried by a court that can ensure fundamental procedural guarantees and protection of the defense rights," the verdict read.

Zhevago is an ex-member of parliament who lives in France and controls the iron pellet producer Ferrexpo.

Ukraine wants him extradited in connection to 2019 charges of embezzling and laundering $113 million at Finance & Credit Bank, a bank that collapsed in 2015.

In 2021, he was put on the Interpol wanted list and was arrested in France in December 2022 at Ukraine's request. He was later released on bail for 1 million euros ($1.1 million).

A French court determined in March that Zhevago should not be extradited.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) then announced in August 2023 that the oligarch is suspected of having bribed the head of the Supreme Court and other Supreme Court judges in exchange for a decision in his favor.

Earlier this year, Zhevago transferred $2.7 million to his lawyer, of which $1.8 million was intended to be the bribe for the Supreme Court, and the rest was for the legal advisor's "mediation services," NABU said.

The head of the Supreme Court was charged with corruption in May.

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