US, Israel intervene in Russian extradition

The US and Israel have intervened in the case of a Russian media tycoon arrested in Greece by calling on Athens not to extradite the fugitive to his native land.

    Gusinsky has been wanted in Moscow for three years

    Russian prosecutors were preparing official extradition documents on Tuesday for Vladmir Gusinsky when the US and Israel stepped in, said a Greek diplomat.

    "There have been contacts on a diplomatic level between Greek, US and Israeli officials in which the latter expressed their view that Gusinsky should not be extradited," the diplomat told AFP.

    A spokesman for the US embassy to Greece said he did not want to comment on possible US involvement in the case.

    "The Israeli consular section offers Mr Gusinsky exactly the same services it would offer to any other Israeli citizen under similar circumstances," an Israeli embassy spokesman said.

    However, the spokesman did not confirm this meant Israel had offered the 50-year-old Gusinsky assistance not to be extradited to Greece.


    "There have been contacts on a diplomatic level between Greek, US and Israeli officials in which the latter expressed their view that Gusinsky should not be extradited."

    Greek diplomat

    He was detained at Athens international airport last week after arriving from Tel Aviv. On Monday, Gusinsky was remanded in custody by a Greek prosecutor who has sent the case to a court which will consider the extradition request.

    Greek media reported that powerful political operators in the US had intervened on his behalf with both Washington and the Greek authorities.

    In Moscow, Interfax said prosecutors had received an official notification from Greece of Gusinsky's detention.

    "Today this notification has been translated into Russian and we have begun to prepare documents requesting Gusinsky's extradition to Russia," an official in the prosecutor's office said.

    The tycoon fled Moscow three years ago after being sought by prosecutors for allegedly swindling state-dominated gas giant Gazprom out of 250 million dollars (230 million euros).

    He is also accused of fraudulent privatisation and money laundering.

    Gusinsky successfully fought off extradition when he was twice briefly detained in Spain after fleeing Russia in 2000, the year Putin came to power. Gusinsky then moved to Israel.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    From Zimbabwe to England: A story of war, home and identity

    The country I saw as home, my parents saw as oppressors

    What happens when you reject the identity your parents fought for and embrace that of those they fought against?

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    One woman shares the story of her life with polycystic kidney disease and sees parallels with the plight of the planet.

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    On a gorgeous Florida evening, a truck crashed into me. As I lay in intensive care, I learned who had been driving it.