MOSCOW, May 25 (RIA Novosti) - Lawyers acting for former Russian nuclear power minister Yevgeny Adamov have filed an appeal with the Supreme Court against a ruling prolonging his custody.
"We consider Moscow City Court's ruling to prolong Adamov's custody until August 8 illegal and groundless, and ask that he be released," lawyer Timofei Gridnev said.
Moscow City Court Tuesday extended Adamov's detention by two more months, after prosecutors claimed that the defense had not yet finished studying the case materials. But defense lawyers said they had finished studying the criminal case on Monday and signed a protocol to that effect.
Prosecutor Valery Lakhtin said the former minister was a leader of an organized criminal group whose members were on an international wanted list and that custody was a necessary measure that would prevent Adamov from influencing witnesses.
The U.S. accused Adamov, 67, who served as nuclear power minister 1998-2001, of misappropriating $9 million given to Russia for nuclear safety projects. He would have faced 60 years in prison if convicted in the U.S.
On October 3, the Swiss Federal Justice Department announced it would extradite the former minister to the U.S., but Adamov's defense team filed an appeal with the Federal Tribunal, Switzerland's Supreme Court, in Lausanne in November. The Tribunal ruled to send Adamov to Russia.