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    London court to hear Russian businessman's extradition case Dec. 1

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    Westminster Magistrates' Court on Tuesday set December 1 as the date for a hearing into an extradition request by Russia for a businessman wanted on kidnapping and extortion charges.

    LONDON, September 22 (RIA Novosti) - Westminster Magistrates' Court on Tuesday set December 1 as the date for a hearing into an extradition request by Russia for a businessman wanted on kidnapping and extortion charges.

    Yevgeny Chichvarkin, the former co-owner of Russia's largest cell-phone retailer, Euroset, was arrested in London on September 7, but released the same day on bail of 100,000 pounds ($163,000) pending an extradition hearing.

    The fugitive businessman has been on a wanted list in Russia since late January on suspicion of involvement in the 2003 abduction of the firm's shipping agent, who had allegedly stolen large quantities of mobile phones, as well as the extortion of money from him.

    Russia sent Britain a formal extradition request for the businessman in June.

    Chichvarkin said on Monday his life would be in danger if he lost the extradition case.

    "They will try to kill me in prison, I know. And preferably on the way there so that I cannot say a word more," Chichvarkin said in an interview with the Russian opposition magazine New Times.

    Last September, Chichvarkin and his business partner Timur Artemyev sold Euroset to the ANN investment company for $1.25 billion. Euroset has more than 5,000 outlets in 1,464 cities in Russia and several former Soviet republics. The company's sales reached $5.61 billion in 2007.

     

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