Great Britain accepts Russia's motion for extraditing banker Pugachyov - newspaper

The British Home Office has accepted the motion from the Russian Prosecutor General's Office for the extradition of Sergei Pugachyov, Mezhprombank founder and ex-senator from the Republic of Tuva, who is suspected of large-scale misappropriation, Kommersant daily reports.

The British Home Office has accepted the motion from the Russian Prosecutor General's Office for the extradition of Sergei Pugachyov, Mezhprombank founder and ex-senator from the Republic of Tuva, who is suspected of large-scale misappropriation, Kommersant daily reports.

The newspaper says that the Home Office accepted the extradition request and sent it to the Westminster Magistrates' Court in London.

The article says that the court should first decide on the measure of restraint regarding the banker - the prosecution intends to insist on issuing an order for his arrest - and examine the merits of the case after that.

At the court the newspaper was told that the date of hearings has not been set yet. "The banker has actually nowhere to flee from Great Britain because in compliance with an Interpol writ he should be immediately confined for a subsequent decision on his extradition to the country that initiated his search," Kommersant says.

It was announced on Friday that the theft of another 64 billion rubles had been uncovered during this inquiry.

"The investigation has identified one more episode of Pugachyov's criminal activities. In 2009 Mezhprombank extended 120 loans to entities he controlled for a sum exceeding 64 billion rubles," Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Interfax.

"A year later at instructions from Pugachyov who definitely knew that the loans would not be paid back the agreements on collateral were severed and these actions allowed the businessman to freely dispose of the assets," Markin said.

"A new resolution naming Pugachyov a suspect was issued on June 1, 2015. In addition to the misappropriation charge, he also faces charges under Part 3 of Article 33 and Part 2 of Article 201 of the Russian Criminal Code [abuse of power]," Markin said.

Markin said that Russia had sent documents for Pugachyov's extradition to Great Britain. He also reminded Interfax that Pugachyov is suspected of misappropriating almost 30 billion rubles.

Investigators believe that more than 28 billion rubles allocated by Russia's Central Bank as unsecured loans was misappropriated in 2008 and 2009, Markin said.

"An organized group led by Sergei Pugachyov was involved in this crime. He was named a suspect in a criminal case opened under Article 33 and Part 4 of Article 160 of the Russian Criminal Code [large-scale misappropriation]," he said.

On May 5, 2014 Moscow's Basmanny court issued a second ruling on Pugachyov's arrest in absentia. The previous ruling had been quashed by the appellate instance.

In January 2011, the Investigative Committee's Moscow branch opened a criminal inquiry into claims of Mezhprombank's intentional bankruptcy. The Russian Central Bank withdrew the bank's license on October 5, 2010, and the court declared it bankrupt on November 30. The case was opened in response to a request from the Deposit Insurance Agency, which was the bankruptcy commissioner for Mezhprombank.

In 2011, Pugachyov used his diplomatic passport and flew from Moscow's Vnukovo airport to Nice, France. He was declared internationally wanted on December 16, 2013.

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