Fugitive Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash is trying to avoid the extradition to the United States amid U.S. President Donald Trump's impeachment inquiry.
After the July decision of the Austrian authorities to extradite Firtash to the United States, he hired new lawyers close to Trump, namely a married couple, Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, as reported by the Ukrainian TSN TV news service.
These lawyers worked with Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and during Trump's campaign tried to find incriminating evidence on his rival, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.
Former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, who testified in the Firtash case, also pointed to him, saying that it was Biden who had pressured the Ukrainian authorities and prevented Firtash from returning to Ukraine since this would supposedly prevent his extradition to the United States.
Firtash is still in Austria, and his new lawyers are trying to prevent him from being extradited to the United States.
As UNIAN reported earlier, the case against Firtash was opened in 2014. He is suspected of bribery. He is accused of paying US$18.5 million to Indian officials for mining titanium ore, which they then planned to sell in the United States. In the same year, at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice, he was detained, but soon he was released from custody on a record EUR 125 million bail.
On June 25, 2019, Austria's Supreme Court gave the green light to Firtash's extradition to the United States.
If the oligarch is found guilty in the United States, he is facing up to 50 years in prison and confiscation of all property.