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Austrian Court Rules Not To Extradite Ex-Chief Of Bashneft Oil Giant

An Austrian court has ruled not to extradite to Russia Ural Rakhimov, former head of the Bashneft oil giant in Russia's region of Bashkortostan.

Rakhimov's lawyer, Sergei Makarenko, told the Interfax news agency on March 9 that the court's ruling had been made on February 19.

A judge at the Regional Court of Vienna for Criminal Cases, Christina Salzborn, confirmed to the RIA news agency that Russia's extradition request for Rakhimov had been turned down in February.

Rakhimov, the son of the former head of Bashkortostan, Murtaza Rakhimov, is wanted in Russia for alleged embezzlement of at least $2.9 billion and money laundering in connection with the privatization of the Bashneft oil company in 2009.

Salzborn did not rule out Rakhimov's possible extradition to Russia in the future, but added that it would only be possible if Moscow provided "additional evidence."

Based on reporting by Interfax and RIA