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Former Russian Official Reportedly Extradited By France To Face Fraud Charges

Russia says France has extradited a former regional finance official to face trial on multiple counts of fraud, misuse of funds, and money laundering following a long legal battle.

Aleksei Kuznetsov was "extradited to Russia accompanied by staff from the Russian prison service and the Russian bureau of Interpol," the international police agency, the Prosecutor-General's office said on January 3.

There were no immediate comments from French authorities.

Kuznetsov served as finance minister for the Moscow region between 2000 and 2008.

According to investigators, he, along with "accomplices," caused losses of more than 11 billion rubles ($160 million) to the regional government.

The money was allegedly used to buy property abroad.

Kuznetsov was arrested in southern France in the summer of 2013 and appealed against his extradition in French courts over the following years.

In January 2018, a Russian court convicted Kuznetsov's former wife, Janna Bullock, of large-scale fraud and money laundering and sentenced her to 11 years in prison after a trial in absentia.

Bullock is an American citizen and the United States refuses to extradite her to Russia.

She has said she and her ex-husband were victims of corruption in Russia.

Based on reporting by AFP, TASS, and Interfax