U.S. sends official request to extradite former Russian minister Adamov

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GENEVA, June 25 (RIA Novosti, Yekaterina Andrianova) - The U.S. sent an official request to Switzerland to extradite former Russian Atomic Energy Minister Yevgeny Adamov, the Swiss Federal Justice Department said Friday.

Adamov, 66, who headed the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry in 1998-2001 was arrested in Bern on May 2 on a warrant issued by the district court of Pennsylvania.

Adamov and his business partner, U.S. citizen Mark Kaushansky are accused of embezzling $9 million from U.S. Energy Department funds intended to improve Russian nuclear security.

According to U.S. legislation, Adamov may face up to 60 years in prison and a $1.75 million fine.

Russia also sent Switzerland a request for Adamov's extradition on May 17 in the form of an arrest warrant, issued by the Moscow Basmanny Court. The Russian Prosecutor General's office opened a case against Adamov on charges of fraud and abuse of power.

On June 9, Adamov was formally arrested for the second time following the Russian request.

Adamov's lawyers are currently contesting the legitimacy of both arrests in court.

The Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona found the U.S. arrest warrant illegitimate and ordered Adamov's release on June 9. However, the former minister remained in prison pending the judgment from the Federal Tribunal in Lausanne.

On June 17, the Federal Justice Department filed an appeal against the Federal Criminal Court's ruling. The Federal Court has not temporary restrictions to consider this case.

On Friday, the Federal Court in Lausanne ruled that Adamov must remain in custody while the Court was considering the appeal.

Adamov's lawyers filed a new appeal to the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona against the legitimacy of the second arrest on the Russian extradition request.

The Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona will consider the positions of the Federal Justice Department and Adamov's lawyers and make a ruling.

If Adamov's lawyers are dissatisfied with the ruling they may contest it in the Federal Court in Lausanne.

If both arrests are found illegal Adamov will be released. Otherwise, the Federal Justice Department will make a decision on Adamov's extradition either to Russia or to the U.S.

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