MOSCOW, January 29 (RAPSI) – Aslan Gagiyev, alleged leader of a Russia-based criminal organization, may avoid extradition from Austria to Russia, but may be sent to Bulgaria instead, Kommersant newspaper reported on Friday.

According to press-secretary of Vienna Regional Court for Criminal Matters, Austrian authorities granted a permission for Gagiyev’s extradition to Bulgaria where he is suspected of documents’ forgery and use of said documents.

Austria is yet to review Russian extradition request for the second time. In the summer of 2015 extradition request was granted by the Austrian court, but it was later appealed by Gagiyev’s defense.

According to Kommersant, Gagiyev seeks to avoid extradition to either country; Bulgarian request has already been appealed.

Georgian-born Aslan Gagiyev’s gang has been operating since 2004 and includes 45 members.

Members of the gang are suspected of more than 40 counts of murder in Moscow and North Ossetia. Some of the suspects have already been convicted and are serving long prison terms. Over ten of them have been arrested, and an additional twelve suspects are wanted by Interpol and federal law enforcement agencies.

Three more members, including the gang’s leader Aslan Gagiyev were arrested in other foreign states and are to be extradited.

Gagiyev faces life sentence in Russia.