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Finnish Court OKs Extradition Of Russian Opposition Figure

Russian politician Vasily Popov (file photo)
Russian politician Vasily Popov (file photo)

The Supreme Court of Finland has ruled that Russian opposition activist Vasily Popov can be extradited to Russia.

The February 19 decision is only a recommendation, and the final decision in the case is up to the Justice Ministry.

Popov, 51, is wanted in the city of Petrozavodsk on charges of fraud connected with the privatization of a municipal enterprise. Popov's wife, Anastasia Kravchuk, a former deputy chairwoman of Karelia's Legislative Assembly, and two other former officials are also charged in the case.

Popov is a member of the policy committee of the liberal Yabloko party and says that the charges against him are politically motivated. He formerly served in the Karelian Legislative Assembly and the Petrozavodsk city council.

He moved to Finland in March 2015 and was arrested there under an Interpol warrant in August.

Russia's Memorial human rights organization has denounced the "illegal persecution" of Popov.

Based on reporting by Yle and Ilta-Sanomat