Vienna court rules against releasing gas mogul Firtash on bail
VIENNA, March 21 (RAPSI) – A court in Vienna announced on Thursday that the EUR 125 million ($174 million) bail for detained Ukrainian industrialist Dmytro Firtash had been received on Wednesday, but that federal money laundering authorities had frozen the funds to investigate the origin.
“For this reason (Firtash) has not been released from custody,” the court said in a statement to journalists.
The Vienna court ruled to open a case on March 14 on the extradition of Firtash, who has interests in gas trading and chemicals, set a bail amount for his release, and prohibited him from leaving Austria until the end of the hearing.
Such cases usually take some time in Austria, which has no duration limit on them.
Firtash, 48, was arrested in the central Vienna district of Margareten on the evening of March 12 based on an FBI arrest warrant. According to the bureau, an investigation on Firtash began in 2006 and resulted in bribery and organized crime charges. An arrest warrant was subsequently issued.
Group DF, owned by Firtash, responded that “the incident is a misunderstanding and will be resolved soon.” The statement also says that the businessman’s arrest is linked to a 2006 investment project.