Swiss to send Russian suspect to US

Switzerland is to extradite imprisoned former Russian nuclear minister Yevgeny Adamov to the United States, rejecting a competing extradition request from Russia.

    Swiss police seized ex-nuclear minister Yevgeny Adamov in May

    The Swiss justice ministry on Monday, said: "The federal office of justice has reached the conclusion that all the conditions allowing for Adamov's extradition to the United States had been met."
    The 66-year-old ex-minister, who has already been in jail in Switzerland for five months, has 30 days to appeal against the decision before the Swiss federal tribunal - the country's highest legal authority.
    Adamov is known to have preferred extradition to his native country.
    Russia's nuclear minister from 1998 to 2001, Adamov is suspected of fraud and money-laundering in connection with $9 million sent by the US government to help Russia improve its nuclear safety. 

    He was arrested in Bern on 2 May at the request of US authorities who filed for his extradition. Shortly thereafter, Russia filed its own request for his extradition, which Adamov said in August he would accept.
    Russia said on Saturday it expected a decision on the competing requests to be made strictly on legal grounds and not be influenced by political pressure.
    The US government said in May that Adamov and a former Westinghouse employee, Mark Kaushansky, had been indicted by a US federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on 20 counts. 
    Specific charges

    Adamov is part-owner of a Pennsylvania-based consulting firm and a former director of Russian nuclear design and research institute NIKIET.
    "The indictment alleges that Adamov and Kaushansky ... converted at least 9,000,000 of the funds into personal assets, primarily utilising shell companies, Omeka Ltd and Aglosky International, which had accounts in the United States, Monaco and France," the government statement said.
    The indictment seeks the forfeiture of proceeds held in bank accounts in Monaco.
    US officials have said the law provides for a maximum potential sentence of 60 years in prison and a fine of $1.7 million for Adamov and up to 180 years in prison and a fine of five million dollars or both for Kaushansky.
    The statement said US investigators had been helped in their investigations by the Monaco police department and Swiss government officials. 



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