Gusinsky ruling is postponed

Athens judges examining the thorny issue of Moscow’s extradition request for one of Russia’s former media barons yesterday deferred their ruling for at least two weeks, deciding to seek further information from the Russians. Earlier, appeals court prosecutor Anna Zairi had urged the Council of Appeals Court Judges to reject the Russian extradition bid for Vladimir Gusinsky, 51, arguing that it was too vague. The council said it would ask Moscow to send further details within 15 days. Gusinsky was arrested at Athens airport on August 21 on an international warrant, detained and released on bail pending a decision on the extradition request. Moscow wants him to answer $250 million fraud and money-laundering charges, which Gusinsky claims are politically motivated due to his media’s critical coverage of Russia’s Chechen war. In this, he is backed by the USA and Israel – Gusinsky holds Israeli nationality – both which are pressing Athens not to allow his extradition. The final decision lies with Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos.

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