Cyprus Mail

Supreme Court approves extradition of Russian man to Moscow

Reversing an earlier decision of a lower court, the Supreme Court on Friday approved the extradition of a Russian citizen to Russia where he is wanted for alleged serious offences, the Cyprus News Agency reported.

The man was stopped at Larnaca Airport in December 2018 as he was preparing to depart for Dubai after it emerged that he was wanted in Russia for abuse of power.

Russia’s attorney general office applied for his extradition. The case went to court which rejected the defendant’s argument that he was being sought because of his political beliefs and that he was in danger of inhuman or degrading treatment.

But it nevertheless turned down the extradition request, saying that the evidence submitted did not list a report of the actions for which the defendant was being sought, adding that his rights to a fair trial had already been violated.

The Supreme Court found that both the defendant and the country seeking his extradition had clear and adequate information regarding the actions for which he was sought.

The evidence presented to the lower court gave a clear description of the events which, if proven, constitute a crime. The Supreme Court disagreed with the lower court’s decision that procedures followed in Russia were a violation of his rights as he had not been informed about the court proceedings or given the right to be represented.

The fact that the defendant had not been found at the address which he had given the authorities, the fact that after he had given a statement as a witness as regards the specific case he had changed his ID, and a few months later left the country, did not warrant holding Russia responsible for violating his rights.

“We find that the defendant did not submit evidence that shows a serious possibility that as regards the charges he will face in his country he will not have the right to choose a lawyer or all the rights and guarantees that safeguard his fundamental rights for a just trial,” the Supreme Court added, as it set aside the decision of the lower court.

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