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    Ukrainian Billionaire Firtash Released on $174M Bail

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    Ukrainian billionaire Dmytro Firtash, detained on an FBI arrest warrant in Vienna about a week ago, was released on Friday after posting a bail of 125 million euro ($174 million).

    MOSCOW, March 21 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian billionaire Dmytro Firtash, detained on an FBI arrest warrant in Vienna about a week ago, was released on Friday after posting a bail of 125 million euro ($174 million).

    Firtash, who made his fortune on Russian natural gas imports, was arrested on March 13 in Vienna’s downtown Margareten district as part of “legal assistance to US authorities.”

    He had posted the bail earlier this week, but federal money laundering authorities had frozen the funds to investigate their origin.

    A court in Vienna said in a statement on Friday that the bail has passed the financial check.

    Vienna police said the businessman had been on the wanted list since 2006 on charges of bribery and setting up a criminal organization.

    Firtash’s Group DF described the incident as “a misunderstanding” and said that the arrest is linked to a 2006 investment project.

    With an estimated wealth of $673 million, Firtash enjoyed substantial influence under the recently ousted pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich due to his close links to Russia and involvement in the gas and chemical industries.

    The Vienna court opened a case earlier this month on the extradition of Firtash, prohibiting him from leaving Austria until the end of the hearing.

    Such cases are often prolonged in Austria, which imposes no time limit on them.

    Tags:
    Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), bribery, Group DF, Viktor Yanukovych, Dmytro Firtash
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