Austria: Ukrainian businessman's US extradition on hold

July 16, 2019 - 4:10 am

BERLIN (AP) — Austrian officials say the country's justice minister has approved the extradition to the U.S. of Ukrainian businessman Dymitro Firtash, but his defense has filed a court motion to reopen the case, allowing him to stay in Austria for now.

Last month, Austria's Supreme Court of Justice ruled that Firtash — who prosecutors say had business ties to President Donald Trump's ex-campaign manager, Paul Manafort — can be extradited to face a U.S. indictment accusing him of a conspiracy to pay bribes in India to mine titanium.

Firtash denies wrongdoing.

The Austria Press Agency reported Tuesday that Justice Minister Clemens Jabloner approved the extradition. But a Vienna state court judge ruled it could only take place after that court has decided on the new defense motion. Court spokeswoman Christina Salzborn said the defense provided "extremely extensive material."

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