Citizen of the Russian Federation Alexander Franchetti was detained in Prague at the airport named after Vaclav Havel at the request of Ukraine. An arrest warrant was issued due to the participation of a Russian in the occupation of Crimea. Franchetti himself has repeatedly told in interviews how he helped the Russian troops in 2014 and boasted of a medal from the Russian Ministry of Defense "For the return of Crimea."
We tell you what is known about Franchetti and his activities in Crimea, as well as about the details of the trial and the reaction of the authorities of Ukraine, Russia, and the Czech Republic.
The arrest warrant
The Foreign Ministry today confirmed the detention in Prague at the request of Ukraine of a citizen of the Russian Federation Alexander Franchetti.
"The detention was the result of concerted actions of Ukrainian and Czech law enforcement officers to bring Alexander Franchetti to justice for committing a number of crimes against our state, in particular participation in the Russian occupation of Crimea," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko.
According to him, the Ukrainian side is now working on completing the necessary procedures in order to transfer Alexander Franchetti to justice in Ukraine.
The Czech police say that there is "an ongoing investigation in which the police, the prosecutor's office, and the court are cooperating."
"Based on the results of this procedure, the further fate of this person will be determined. That is, either he will be extradited to the authorities who demanded (his arrest, - ed.), Or the opposite decision may be taken," said the head of the police press service Ondrej Moravczyk.
Alexandru Franchetti was provided with a lawyer by the Czech side. He himself says that he has never violated international law.
What is known about Franchetti
Radio Prague reports that Franchetti is a fitness trainer and entrepreneur who has been operating in the Czech Republic since the 1990s and has the right to reside permanently in that country.
Franchetti was an active participant in the events in Crimea in 2014. Just days before Russia's military occupation of the region, Franchetti was involved in the creation of a paramilitary force called the North Wind, which helped to seize power lines and gas pipelines. The division consisted of 11 people.
In an interview posted on YouTube, Franchetti said he was acting in coordination with the Russian naval command in the Crimean port of Sevastopol. Thanks to the information of a member of his group, Serb Dejan Beric, the forces of the Black Sea fleet "successfully neutralized a certain" group of extremists "of nine people."
Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia Alexander Bastrykin instructed to check the reasons for the detention.
"In connection with the inadmissibility of abuse of international legal mechanisms to bring persons to justice for political reasons, the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation instructed the head of the Department of Legal Support and International Cooperation (IC RF) Mikhailov O. Yu. grounds for the detention of a Russian citizen on the territory of a foreign state," the message says.
But this is not the only statement. For example, an employee of the so-called "representative office of the President of Russia in Crimea" Alexander Molokhov said that Franchetti would now probably be sent to "Ukraine, to certain death," without specifying what he meant.