Business news from Ukraine

Vienna court decides to review case on extradition of Dmytro Firtash to USA

The Vienna highest state court (Wiener Oberlandesgericht, OLG) decided on Friday to reconsider the extradition case against Dmytro Firtash to the US and return the case to the court of first instance.
“The February 2017 decision of the Vienna District Court (on Firtash’s extradition) has been reversed. Now the Vienna State Criminal Court (OG) will re-examine the question of the admissibility of extradition on the basis of new evidence,” the court said in a press release
The statement issued by Group DF, which unites the assets of the Ukrainian businessman, also said that the first instance court will consider the case based on new evidence and facts provided by the parties and that Firtash’s extradition is now stopped.
According to the lawyer of the Ukrainian businessman Dieter Böhmdorfer (Dieter Böhmdorfer), which are cited in the report, the defense has been seeking this decision since June 2019.
“Dmitry Firtash is grateful to the independent Austrian judicial system for the objective consideration of the case and quite logically – the appointment of a retrial on the basis of new facts and evidence provided to the court,” the lawyer pointed out.
The press service of Group DF and the lawyers would not comment on the details of the court battles and arguments to persuade the Austrian court to make an objective decision, the release said
As reported, the head of the Board of Group DF Firtash was arrested in Austria on March 12, 2014 at the request of the US authorities, issued in 2013, but then released on bail of EUR125 million. Under the US administration of Barack Obama, the Ukrainian businessman was accused that he wanted to obtain permits for titanium mining in India for the subsequent sale of finished products in the USA to Boeing with the help of bribes totaling $18.5 million. Firtash denies all accusations and calls them politically motivated, aimed at limiting his influence on the processes in Ukraine.
In April 2015, the OG rejected the request of the US Ministry of Justice for the extradition of Firtash, indicating that it is impossible to rule out political motives for the extradition request. However, in February 2017, the OLG reconsidered this decision on a complaint from the prosecutor’s office, and in June 2019, the Austrian Supreme Court (OGH) confirmed the legality of the extradition.
After that, the Austrian Ministry of Justice issued a corresponding ruling on extradition, but the process was suspended in July 2019 due to the Ukrainian businessman’s defense request to the OGH for a new review, taking into account additional data collected. According to Kurier, the OG decision was delayed due to the large number of documents submitted, communication problems due to the coronavirus and due to the change of judges.
In March 2022, Firtash’s lawyers reportedly filed an appeal with the OLG against the OG’s decision to reject the request for a retrial of the businessman’s extradition to the United States.



President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has approved by decree the decision of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) on the introduction of personal sanctions against Ukrainian and Russian businessmen Dmytro Firtash and Pavlo Fuks, the press service of the head of state said.
“To put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine dated June 18, 2021 ‘On the application of personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions),'” the document says.
In total, on the proposal of the Security Service of Ukraine, sanctions were imposed against 538 individuals and 540 legal entities.
Corresponding decree No. 266/2021 of June 24 was published on the website of the head of state and comes into force on the day of its promulgation.

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