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2019.08.08 12:00

Russian oil contamination suspect appeals his arrest in Vilnius

BNS 2019.08.08 12:00

Roman Ruzhechko, a suspect in a Russian oil pipeline contamination probe, has appealed his arrest in Vilnius, his lawyer said on Wednesday. 

"We lodged an appeal today. We are asking for milder measures of restraint," Rolandas Tilindis told BNS.

Russian law-enforcement officials are seeking an extradition of Ruzhechko whom they suspect of involvement in the contamination of Transneft's Druzhba oil pipeline.

Read more: Russian businessman wanted in tainted oil probe detained in Vilnius, asks for political asylum

The oil pipeline was temporarily shut down on April 19 after it was found to contain oil with a high content of dichloroethane, a toxic substance with strong corrosive properties. Oil supplies to at least six European countries were stopped.

According to Tilindis, international extradition rules do not require holding the suspect in custody.

The appeal was filed with the Vilnius Regional Court, the lawyer said. Ruzhechko was detained in Vilnius in mid-July.

Sources have told BNS that the Lithuanian Migration Department is examining the Ruzhechko's request for political asylum. The procedure may take up to six months.