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Austrian High Court Rejects Ukrainian Firtash's Extradition Appeal


Ukrainian businessman Dmytro Firtash (file photo)

Ukrainian businessman Dmytro Firtash (file photo)

Austria's Constitutional Court has refused to consider an appeal by Ukrainian businessman Dmytro Firtash in an attempt to fight his extradition to the United States, where he is wanted on corruption charges.

Firtash had petitioned the court to recognize the U.S.-Austrian extradition agreement as unconstitutional.

The court's rejection of his case, reported by Deutsche Welle on August 19, allows an appeal by the Vienna prosecutor's office of a court ruling prohibiting Firtash from being extradited to the United States to be considered.

U.S. officials are seeking Firtash's extradition in the case of some $18.5 million in bribes being paid for a permit to mine titanium in India.

Firtash, 51, is a co-owner along with Gazprom of RosUkrEnergo, a Swiss-registered company that exports natural gas from Turkmenistan to Eastern Europe.

He also controls a large part of the titanium business in Ukraine and is one of that country's richest men.

Austrian officials arrested Firtash at the request of U.S. law enforcement agencies in March 2014.

He was released from detention shortly afterwards when he posted bail of 125 million euros ($172 million), a record amount in Austria.

Firtash rejects the charges against him as "absurd and unfounded."

Based on reporting by Interfax-Ukraine, ibtimes.co.uk, and Deutsche Welle
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