Ismailov's Montenegrin lawyer Milos Vuksanovic said that his client received political asylum in Montenegro, therefore he was released from the special detention center, where he was awaiting a decision on extradition to Russia.
The infamous owner of the capital's Cherkizon, Russian and Israeli citizen Telman Ismailov, was detained in Montenegro on October 1 on the basis of an international arrest warrant issued by the Russian authorities for organizing the murder of two businessmen in Moscow. Ismailov does not admit his guilt. As it turned out, by the time of his arrest, he had already applied for political asylum in Montenegro. He claimed that he was allegedly persecuted in Russia for political reasons.
At the same time, the international department of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation sent documents on Ismailov's extradition to the Supreme Court of Montenegro. However, as a spokesman for the court said on October 20, only part of the documents had been received. The Supreme Court of Montenegro warned the Russian side that if all documents do not come 40 days after Ismailov's arrest, he will be released.
The question of Ismailov's extradition from Montenegro remained open. Russia and Montenegro do not have a separate legal aid agreement. In 1962, an agreement was signed between the USSR and Yugoslavia on legal assistance in civil, family and criminal cases, but that country no longer exists. Nevertheless, Montenegro sometimes extradits to Russia those accused and suspected of committing crimes. For example, in July 2021, the former rector of the Leningrad State University named after Pushkin, as well as ex-senator Vyacheslav Skvortsov, were extradited to Russia. He is accused of embezzlement on an especially large scale.
On October 22, the court granted Ismailov's request for political asylum. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Montenegro released the entrepreneur, allowed him to live on the territory of the country and provided protection from the Russian security officials.
Montenegro has a program of "golden passports", when anyone can obtain citizenship. The applicant needs to donate € 100,000 to a government fund, purchase real estate, and also invest in resort projects - from € 250,000 in the north of the country or from € 450,000 in the south. This program is used by people with a dubious reputation, hiding their income or running away from the law, among whom there are many Russians. Apparently, Ismailov, who still has financial resources, was able to come to an agreement with the authorities of Montenegro.
The head of the Investigative Committee of Russia, Alexander Bastrykin, has already instructed him to report to him on the grounds for refusing to extradite Ismailov.
- The Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, on the basis of information about the refusal to extradite Ismailov, instructed the international legal department, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, to study in detail the grounds for refusing to extradite, and then carry out a report, "the message says.
Billionaire on the Run
Telman Mardanovich Ismailov is the first-ever bankrupt dollar billionaire from the Forbes rating, a friend of the late Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, the ex-owner of the now closed Cherkizon and other capital markets. The trading floors brought him so much money that he built one of the most expensive hotels in the world in Turkey - the Mardan Palace. Its cost was estimated at $ 1 billion.
Ismailov has been hiding from Russian security officials and other structures for more than four years.
In 2017, Russian investigators opened a criminal case against Telman Ismailov under the articles "Intentional murder of two or more people in a group", which mentions eight dead, "Kidnapping", "Arms trafficking" and "Organization of a criminal community". For example, he is charged with the massacre of two businessmen from the capital. With their heads shot through, they were found in a jeep on the side of the road. According to the investigation, Ismailov's brother Rafik owed one of the killed $ 5.5 million, Telman ordered the killer to eliminate both the "problem" and the witness. Also, the "dad of Cherkizon" is accused of ordering six members of the Koptevskaya organized criminal group, with whom he allegedly did not share trade facilities. Another victim is the famous pop singer Abraham Russo. According to law enforcement officers, it was on the orders of Telman Ismailov that his beloved singer was once fired upon, beaten, abducted.
The disgraced businessman was charged only in absentia; he managed to escape from Russia. On the aggregate of charges, he faces a life sentence.
At first, Telman Ismailov was hiding in Turkey, on the territory of his own hotel Mardan Palace. But soon the Turkish investigators had questions. In their opinion, Ismailov was involved in the murder of the thief in law Rovshan Dzhaniev, well-known in Russian criminal circles. Fearing arrest or extradition to the Russian authorities, Telman sold his hotel for only $ 124 million to an Istanbul bank, and he hastily moved to a villa rented in Montenegro.
Most of all Ismailov's blood is spoiled not by investigators, but by financiers. He was declared bankrupt and owes billions to BM-Bank, a subsidiary of VTB. At the suit of the creditor, the Nevada court arrested Ismailov's Craig Valley Plaza shopping center in Las Vegas. In the United States, a real threat of criminal prosecution loomed before him.