Russian banker suspected of embezzlement to be extradited from UK to Lithuania
LONDON, May 6 (RAPSI) - The High Court of London has rejected an appeal filed by London-based businessman and former owner of the Portsmouth soccer club, Vladimir Antonov, against the lower court's decision to extradite him to Lithuania to stand trial for embezzlement, RIA Novosti reports Wednesday.
Former shareholders of the Lithuanian nationalized bank Snoras, Vladimir Antonov and his partner Raimondas Baranauskas, were detained on November 24, 2011 in the United Kingdom on a European arrest warrant issued by Lithuania.
The Lithuanian Prosecutor’s Office that put Antonov on the European wanted list intends to interrogate him and Baranauskas regarding a large theft of property from Snoras, forging documents and fraudulent accounting.
Earlier, the court in London ordered that the businessmen be released on bail. A representative of Lithuania in court pointed out that, if found guilty, the defendants could be imprisoned for up to ten years in Lithuania.
The businessman appealed against the extradition order and stated in the hearing that the order was politically motivated. However, the court rejected his appeal.
Snoras was part of Antonov's Convers Group. The Convers Group held 68.10 percent of the bank and another 25.3 percent was held by Baranauskas.
In addition, the government of Latvia also announced that the Krajbanka bank, currently on the verge of bankruptcy and 60% owned by Antonov, would be nationalized. Antonov is suspected of illegally withdrawing funds to finance other projects.