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2014.04.09 12:08

Moscow court to rule on fugitive banker Romanov on Thursday

BNS | DELFI | The Lithuania Tribune2014.04.09 12:08

(BNS) A Moscow court will decide Thursday whether to detain and extradite Vladimir Romanov, the former majority shareholder of Lithuania’s collapsed Ūkio Bankas, said his lawyer on Wednesday, citing a report from Romanov’s Russian-based attorney.

 (BNS) A Moscow court will decide Thursday whether to detain and extradite Vladimir Romanov, the former majority shareholder of Lithuania’s collapsed Ūkio Bankas, said his lawyer on Wednesday, citing a report from Romanov’s Russian-based attorney.

Romanov, who fled Lithuania last May, was detained in Moscow on Monday. His lawyer, Adomas Liutvinskas,  told BNS that he is currently hospitalized with “serious” heart problems. Liutvinskas said he had not personally spoken to Romanov and did not know on what grounds Romanov, who was not subject to any supervision measure, had been released.

“All other issues related to the Republic of Lithuania’s request should be dealt with tomorrow. The lawyer [representing Romanov in Russia] has informed me that there is a direct request from the Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s Office to the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation to extradite him,” he said.

The court will officially decide whether to detain Romanov before considering extradition to Lithuania, Liutvinskas said.

“The prosecutor’s office should go to court, which will decide. Under the procedures, if they are the same as in Lithuania, which they most probably are, first of all, a decision on whether or not to detain [Romanov] will be made and then [a second] on his extradition. Additional documents are required there and the procedures take more time, but this is where they’ll start,” he told BNS.

Russia’s news agency Interfax reported on Tuesday that Russia’s law enforcement officers had detained Romanov, 66, in Moscow on Monday at the request of Interpol’s Lithuanian bureau and would decide in the near future on his extradition to Lithuania.

Lithuania’s prosecutors called an international search for Romanov in August 2013 after he fled the country in early May. Prosecutors want to interrogate him in the case of Ukio Bankas’ collapse and alleged misappropriation of 50 million litas (EUR 14.5 mln).

On 12 February 2013, the Lithuanian central bank suspended the operations of Ukio Bankas, which was then the country’s sixth-largest commercial bank in assets. Six days later, the bank was declared insolvent and its license was revoked.

Romanov owned a 65 percent share in Ūkio Bankas.

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