French court denies Ukraine’s extradition request for Zhevago in Finance and Credit Bank case

30 March, 04:11 PM
Kostyantyn Zhevago, owner of Ferrexpo (Photo:NV)

Kostyantyn Zhevago, owner of Ferrexpo (Photo:NV)

The court in Chambéry (France) has denied a request from Ukraine to extradite Kostyantyn Zhevago, the former shareholder of Finance and Credit Bank, the businessman’s press service reported on March 30.

The request for the extradition of Zhevago was filed by the Office of the Prosecutor General and the State Bureau of Investigations (or DBR) as part of a criminal investigation into alleged misappropriation of funds from Finance and Credit Bank.

Zhevago called the actions of law enforcement officials’ “persecution” and believes that it “contains a political motive and obvious signs of a PR campaign by state law enforcement agencies.”

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“This fair decision by the French court confirms the absence of sufficient grounds for extradition and proves the unfoundedness of the allegations made,” said Zhevago.

“I hope that the State Bureau of Investigations and the Prosecutor General’s Office will finally listen to my arguments and adhere to the law in further consideration of this case.”

Last December, Kostyantyn Zhevago was detained in Courchevel, a ski resort located in the French Alps. The next day, he was placed under extradition detention by a French court.

The State Bureau of Investigations accuses Zhevago and a number of top managers of Finance and Credit Bank of organizing a scheme for the embezzlement of $113 million, causing damage to the interests of the state and bank’s depositors.

According to the DBR, property of the suspect and related legal entities, including shares of his companies worth hundreds of millions of hryvnias, 26 real estate objects, 14 property complexes, 21 parts of property complexes, 30 non-residential premises, and 10 apartments have been seized to date.

Recently, the DBR seized Zhevago’s helicopter.

The Pechersk District Court in Kyiv issued a decision to detain Zhevago at the end of 2019, and an international warrant for his arrest was issued in the summer of 2021, although his lawyers denied this fact.

Meanwhile, Zhevago himself denies all accusations, claims a political subtext to the case, and calls on Ukrainian law enforcement to take his testimony in France.

The businessman stated that any decision of the French court on his extradition would be appealed against.

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