Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Austria Alexander Schallenberg says lawyers of fugitive Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash have been delaying his extradition to the United States.
"The Ministry of Justice has already passed an appropriate decree on the extradition of Mr. Firtash. However, Firtash and his lawyers are delaying the procedure as they insist that the case be reviewed," he said at a joint press conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko on Nov 14, when asked about Firtash's extradition to the U.S., according to an UNIAN correspondent.
According to Schallenberg, there are no extradition delays "from the Austrian side."
The Austrian minister added that the judicial review of the case should be completed as well.
"Decision on extradition will be made as soon as our relevant law enforcement agencies receive a court ruling," he said.
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.
However, Firtash's lawyers filed a motion to reopen the extradition proceedings.