Until late at night the Court of Appeal of French Lyon considered the most high-profile extradition cases recently - the former owner of the Kazakh BTA Bank Mukhtar Ablyazov, accused of embezzling funds of the bank depositors, as well as the ex-Minister of Finance of Moscow Region Alexey Kuznetsov government, which is accused of stealing billions of dollars of the sums from the budget region. Requests for their extradition to France has sent the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation. Both insisted on the political motivation of their own affairs. At the time of signing the numbers "b" the court decision has not yet been issued.
To rule on the Russian Prosecutor General's request for extradition of Mukhtar Ablyazov and Alexei Kuznetsov Lyon Court of Appeal decided in a single day. However, the meeting, which began at eight o'clock in the morning and runs parallel to the heavily delayed, as a result of decisions were taken during the night.
The first considered the case of Mukhtar Ablyazov. Quite unexpectedly additional intrigue meeting gave the presence of former world chess champion, Garry Kasparov, now a policy. Mr. Kasparov (by the way, with the banker, in his words, unfamiliarmy) arrived in Lyon on the eve and even managed to hold a joint press conference with the daughter of a banker Ablyazov Madina. Great player announced his intention to take part in extradition proceedings. He intended to take part in the hearing and to convince the presiding judge refused to grant Russian banker. Mr. Kasparov had planned to declare the court that in Russia Mukhtar Ablyazov can not count on a fair investigation and trial. In addition, the player expressed doubt that Russia meet its obligations, its data in connection with the extradition and on the rights of the accused.
However, to participate in the process of Garry Kasparov is not allowed. In the words of the Chief Justice Luc Fontaine, the meeting should take place "without hearing the testimony of witnesses," as the French criminal law does not provide for their participation in the hearings on extradition matters. The judge noted that subsequently can "bring witnesses to participate in the proceedings in the event of a need for additional information." Objections banker defense, indicated that during ESTATEexists a representative of the Prosecutor General's Office, the judge's decision not affected.
As has been repeatedly reported by "Kommersant", the case against Mr Ablyazov investigated in Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. He is accused of embezzlement depositors and the withdrawal of assets from the bank the day before its nationalization in 2009. The total amount of claims on the part of law enforcement bodies of Ukraine and Russia is $ 5.5 billion, about the same damage he is charged in Kazakhstan. In 2012, the High Court in London has convicted Mukhtar Ablyazov of concealing their assets, the banker who was required by the decision of a British court to give under external management at the time of the proceedings with BTA Bank. These actions were qualified as contempt of court, and the banker Ablyazov was sentenced to 22 months in detention. However, he fled to France, where he was arrested July 31, 2013.
Protection arrested insisted on the political nature of his prosecution. In addition, the lawyers talked about procedural errors allegedly committed in the extradition request. In particular, one of the articles of the Criminal Code it is specified in the old version.
Meanwhile Alexei Kuznetsovin all day waiting in the court only announcement of the decision in his case - own argument passed earlier. As already informed "Kommersant", the former head of the Regional Ministry of Finance Kuznetsov absentia accused of TFR is that an organized criminal group under his leadership, illegally acquired a number of utilities' right to claim debts to municipalities near Moscow worth over 3.5 billion rubles. Money has been appropriated and legalized. In addition, the group has committed theft of property belonging to JSC "Mosobltransinvest", in the amount of 7.2 billion rubles.
Alexey Kuznetsov and his French lawyers, in turn, argued in court that the prosecution of ex-official of a political nature in Russia. In particular, Mr. Kuznetsov claimed that he is a victim of "political intrigues in the corridors of power," and he is being persecuted "as a member of the team of the former governor of the Moscow region". In addition, the former official said that he is afraid of physical violence on the part of "senior officials of the Russian Federation." His lawyer Gregoire Renkur previously explained "Kommersant" that itthrough his client "was carried out the attack on the then-governor of Moscow region Boris Gromov to discredit the latter."
Meanwhile, representatives of the Prosecutor General's Office noted that all of these allegations were subsequently refuted by concrete evidence of a former Minister of common crimes. For example, the court was presented with information that criminal activity of Mr. Kuznetsov investigated "not only in Russia, but also by the competent authorities of other countries with which the Prosecutor General of Russia carries out close cooperation." In addition, the attention of the French justice was drawn to the unjust enrichment of both the Mr Kuznetsov and his ex-wife - Janna Bullock US citizen that only in France have a real property whose value is many times greater than those profits they officially received. In particular, in France the same supervisory authority sent a request for the arrest of Alexei Kuznetsov property for tens of millions of dollars.
The solution of the Lyon Court is not still decidingIt is the ultimate fate of the banker and ex-minister. "Today's court decision is only a recommendation, but the final verdict on the extradition, in accordance with French law enforcement authorities take out of the country", - he stressed in connection with the official representative of the Prosecutor General's Office Marina Gridneva.