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Serbian appellate court overturns ex-SBU official's prison sentence

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 14, 2024 6:57 PM 2 min read
Ex-SBU general Andrii Naumov in Serbian detention. Photo published on Sept. 29, 2023. (Dejan Stankovic / Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)
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A court of appeals in the Serbian city of Nis overturned the one-year prison sentence of Andrii Naumov, a former official of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported on Feb. 14.

The former head of the SBU's internal security department was detained in Serbia in 2022 after fleeing Ukraine. The High Court of Nis convicted Naumov of money laundering in September 2023, sentencing him to one year in prison.

By overturning the sentence, the appellate court sent the case back to the High Court of Nis for a new decision.

Naumov reportedly left Ukraine on Feb. 23, 2022, mere hours before the start of the all-out war. He used several vans loaded with cash and jewels to leave the country, which went to Germany and later Serbia, according to Ukrainska Pravda.

Following his departure, Ukrainian authorities labeled him a traitor, launched several criminal cases against him on the charges of abuse of power and fraud, stripped him of his rank, and placed him on the wanted list.

He was detained on the border between Serbia and North Macedonia on June 7, 2022, reportedly carrying undeclared cash amounting to around 600,000 euros ($644,000), $120,000, and two emeralds.

Naumov was released from custody in December 2023 as he awaits the final verdict.

Serbian authorities have repeatedly rejected Ukraine's request to extradite the former SBU official.

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