French Court of Appeal Rejects Ukraine’s Extradition Request for Billionaire Kostyantin Zhevago
In a recent ruling, the French Court of Appeal has denied Ukraine’s request to extradite Kostyantin Zhevago, a Ukrainian billionaire businessman who was detained in France last December. Zhevago, who is the owner of a majority stake in the mining group Ferrexpo, was accused by Ukraine’s National Bureau of Investigation of embezzlement and money laundering.
The Case Against Zhevago
According to Ukraine’s National Bureau of Investigation, Zhevago was suspected of embezzling funds from a state-owned mining company, which he later used to purchase properties in France and Switzerland. The bureau also claimed that Zhevago had transferred millions of dollars to offshore accounts, which were suspected to be involved in money laundering activities.
However, Zhevago has denied all allegations against him and has maintained his innocence throughout the legal proceedings. In his defense, Zhevago argued that the charges against him were politically motivated and that he was being unfairly targeted by the Ukrainian government.
The French Court’s Ruling
The French Court of Appeal’s decision to reject Ukraine’s extradition request is a significant setback for the Ukrainian government, which has been seeking to bring Zhevago to trial for several years now. The court’s ruling was based on the fact that the charges against Zhevago were not recognized as criminal offenses under French law.
While the court acknowledged that the allegations against Zhevago were serious, it ultimately concluded that they did not meet the criteria for extradition. As a result, Zhevago was released from detention and allowed to return to Ukraine.
Reactions to the Ruling
The French Court of Appeal’s decision has been met with mixed reactions from various parties. While Zhevago’s supporters have hailed the ruling as a victory for justice, the Ukrainian government has expressed disappointment and frustration over the outcome.
In a statement, the Ukrainian Embassy in France said that it respected the court’s decision but reiterated its commitment to pursuing justice in the case. The embassy also expressed hope that Zhevago would cooperate with the Ukrainian authorities in their ongoing investigation.
Overall News Summary
The French Court of Appeal’s decision not to extradite Kostyantin Zhevago to Ukraine is a significant development in the long-running legal battle between the Ukrainian government and the billionaire businessman. While the ruling may be seen as a setback for Ukraine, it also underscores the importance of due process and the rule of law in international legal proceedings.