Case of Firtash: Charges given to Ukrainian oligarch

Author : News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

Vienna court allowed Firtash’s extradition to the United States; the businessman refused to voice the last word at the trial
15:32, 23 February 2017

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112 Agency

March 12, 2014 Dmytro Firtash was arrested in Austria at the request of the US Federal Bureau of Investigations, which suspects him of bribery and conspiracy. The investigation was conducted in 2006. After a few days, the Austrian Court decided to open the case about Firtash’s extradition to the US and appointed him bail of 125 million euros, and on March 21, the businessman was released on bail.

Related: Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash to be extradited to U.S.

In April 2014, the US Justice Department said that Firtash is accused of creating an international corruption scheme to obtain permits for the development of titanium deposits in India. In addition, Indian MP Ramachandra Rao, a Hungarian businessman Andras Knopp, a Ukrainian citizen Suren Gevorgyan, and two businessmen from India and Sri Lanka were in collusion with him.

In 2006, they entered into an agreement to pay at least $ 18.5 million of bribes to obtain a license for the mining operations on the east coast of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It was expected that the titanium business would generate more than $ 500 million per year, including trade with the unknown "Company A", which is headquartered in Chicago.

Related: Stockholm court awarded Firtash’s company Ostchem more than $ 250 million from Odessa Port Plant, - source

The indictment says that they used US financial institutions to transfer millions of dollars to corrupt Indian officials, to obtain the necessary license for the project. The Ministry of Justice of the United States stated that 57 money transfers were recorded, amounting to more than 10.59 million dollars between the different actors, some of them were controlled by Firtash’s Group DF.

According to the investigation, it was Firtash distributed roles among their employees, to monitor the process of obtaining licenses through bribes.

Related: Austrian Prosecutor's Office receives request of Firtash extradition to Spain

The prosecution petitioned the confiscation of businessman’s share in Group DF Limited, including 14 companies registered in Austria, and 18 companies registered in the British Virgin Islands, as well as 127 other companies registered in Cyprus, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Seychelles, Switzerland, and all the money from 41 bank accounts in these same countries.

In addition, the prosecution petitioned the confiscation of the paid 10.59 million dollars.

Related: Spain puts Firtash on international wanted list, - source

Firtash said that the criminal case against him was fabricated and completely politicized. In April 2015, the Vienna Court of refused the United States to extradite Mr. Firtash, allowing him to leave the territory of Austria. The Interior Ministry then threatened that if Firtash arrives in Ukraine, he will be detained and arrested.

Related: Oligarch Firtash hesitates to return to Ukraine due to persecution by government

In addition, Ukraine is investigating two criminal cases directly linked to Dmytro Firtash. The first one is against OSTSHEM Group on the application of state losses in the amount of 5.742 billion UAH. The second is related to the "Nadra Bank": former public servants, together with the owners and managers of the bank, are suspected of misappropriation of money provided as refinancing totaling 10.4 billion hryvnia.

February 21, the court in Vienna allowed Firtash’s extradition to the United States. At the same time, the businessman refused to voice the last word at the trial. The final decision on extradition belongs the Minister of Justice of Austria.

Related: Untouchable Ukrainian oligarchs vs. attacked middle class

Related: Oligarchs Strike Back: Who needs a rail war in Donbas?

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