French prosecutors support extradition of fugitive Russian official
MOSCOW, December 20 (RAPSI) – French prosecutors fully support the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office request to extradite Alexei Kuznetsov, a former finance minister of the Moscow Region, who is sought after the $333 million fraud, a Prosecutor General’s Office representative told RIA Novosti on Friday.
The investigators in Russia are prepared to charge Kuznetsov with more than 150 counts of fraud, with damages stacking up to 11 billion rubles ($333 mln).
The final ruling on the matted will be made on January 16, a source in the appellate court of Aix-en-Provance told RIA Novosti.
According to the investigators, from November 2005 to November 2008, a group organized by Kuznetsov deceived several housing and utility companies into selling it over 3.5 billion rubles’ ($109 million) worth of claims against the Moscow Region's municipal authorities. The group laundered and misappropriated the money. It is also alleged to have embezzled the property of company Mosobltransinvest,worth 7.2 billion rubles ($224 million).
Kuznetsov was placed first on the federal and subsequently on the international wanted list in November 2012 on suspicion of fraud, money laundering, and embezzlement.
The investigators said the search for Kuznetsov gathered speed after Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin met with the French police chief in January 2013.