VILNIUS, July 10 (RAPSI) - The Vilnius District Court, which began hearing the case of an alleged Russian arms smuggler detained in Lithuania at the United States' request on Tuesday, has postponed the hearing until July 16 to give the defendant time to study the case materials sent from the US.
The Lithuanian security services arrested Dmitry Ustinov a month ago at the request of the US Justice Department, which suspects him of smuggling export-restricted military equipment, such as night vision devices, and laundering the proceeds. He was arrested on a warrant issued in the state of Delaware on March 26.
"In accordance with Article 9 of the Lithuanian Criminal Code, Ustinov will be extradited to the United States if the charges against him fall within Lithuanian jurisdiction.
Under US laws, the devices he bought could be restricted military items, but they may turn out to be considered civilian equipment in Lithuania. I will ask that experts be summoned to determine what kind of equipment he bought," Ustinov's lawyer Drasutis Zagreckas said.
Alexander Mamayev, head of the Russian Embassy's consulate department, earlier said the court had extended Ustinov's detention until August 15 because the case materials from the United States had only arrived in early June and needed to be translated into Russian.
Mamayev said Ustinov has denied all charges and that the consulate staff are monitoring the situation and have visited him several times.
"If he is extradited to the United States and stands trial there, his case will be investigated again and he will be able to present his arguments," Prosecutor Rosita Pozarskiene said, adding that Lithuania is not searching for proof of Ustinov's guilt.
The US special services established that in 2010 Ustinov wrote an e-mail to a co-conspirator asking to buy him night vision equipment. Between July 2010 and October 2012, Ustinov allegedly acquired and later sold at least 13 items of military-oriented night vision equipment including PVS-14 sights after smuggling them out of the United States.
If convicted in the United States, where he is accused of illegal arms sales and smuggling, as well as money laundering, Ustinov will face at least 20 years in prison.