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Russian budget office ex-head to be extradited to Moscow

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Prague, Oct 7 (CTK) – Czech Justice Minister Robert Pelikan approved the extradition of Russian federal budgetary office’s former chief Alexander Nikolayev who was charged with conspiration and fraud in Russia, daily Pravo writes on Saturday.

Pelikan’s spokesman Jakub Riman told the paper that the ministry has not found anything that would prevent Nikolayev from being extradited.

Nikolayev, 63, applied for political asylum in the Czech Republic, but he was not granted it. In January 2016, the Czech police arrested him based on an international arrest warrant issued by a Moscow prosecutor’s office three years ago, Pravo writes.

Nikolayev is suspected of manipulating a tender for a public contract worth roughly 250 million rubles for the reconstruction of a railway platform and waiting room for rail transport of the Russian president in mid-2011. The deal was overpriced and the work of poor quality, according to Russian authorities.

Nikolayev claims that all the accusations are false. He told the Czech court that he fell victim to a new wave of Russian repressions. “Putin is running out of money as so he started looking for enemies of the nation again. This is why decided in 2014 to travel to Karlovy Vary with my family and stay there,” Pravo quotes him as telling the court.

There has been a large Russian community in the Karlovy Vary spa town in western Bohemia.

The Czech Constitutional Court (US) rejected Nikolayev’s complaint against his remanding in a custody prison. The US concluded that the lower court’s fear that he might flee the country to avoid his extradition was justified, Pravo writes.

Nikolayev had neither permanent nor long-term residence in the country nor any relatives or property here, the US argued.

Judge Pavel Fait, from the Plzen regional court, said Russia was subject to international controls whether it respects the protection of human rights. If Russia violated the guarantees it gave, other countries would be more reserved when dealing with Russian extradition requests in future, Pravo writes.

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