23:31 GMT05 May 2021
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    VIENNA (Sputnik) — A Vienna court rejected on Thursday a US request to extradite influential Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash, sought by US authorities on graft charges.

    "The US request has been denied," Judge Christopher Bauer announced after 10-hour court deliberations.

    The 49-year-old Ukrainian billionaire, who was indicted in the United States in 2013 on suspicion of paying bribes to officials in India in order to gain access to the country's mineral resources, was arrested in Austria last year.

    In March 2014, Firtash was released from prison after paying record $172-million bail and promising to stay in the country.

    Firtash is an energy, chemicals and media mogul and a known supporter of ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.

    He is wanted in the United States on accusations of bribery and forming a criminal organization at the request of American law enforcement agencies. Firtash claims the indictment issued by Washington against him is groundless and politically motivated, while the US Justice Department says the arrest is not related to recent events in the Ukraine.


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