Adamov appeals extradition to US, Russian foreign ministry to intervene

Publish date: November 2, 2005

Russia says a Swiss court's ruling that allowed ex-Atomic Energy Minister Yevgeny Adamov's extradition to the United States affects Russia's rights and interests and intends to intervene in the proceedings as one of the interested legal parties, the Ministry of Foreign affairs said in a statement Tuesday, Interfax news agency reported.

Lawyers for Adamov―who is charged with embezzling some $9m allocated by US government bodies to improve Russia’s nuclear security―meanwhile filed an appeal with Switzerland’s highest court in Lausanne against the extradition. The Swiss Federal Justice Department announced its decision to extradite the former Russian minister on October 3.

“Russia has repeatedly expressed its disagreement with the Swiss authorities’ decision on Adamov’s extradition to the [United States], which, in its opinion, is not based on an objective assessment of all circumstances of the case and does not comply with the provisions of international law that were applied,” the Russia foreign ministry said.

“Taking into account that the decision of the Swiss authorities directly affects the Russian Federation’s rights and legitimate interests, it intends to take part in the proceedings, as well.”

Until the Lausanne court hands down a decision on the appeal, Adamov will remain in custody in Bern, where he was arrested May 3rd on a US Warrant. The Lausanne court is not bound by a deadline, and its verdicts are not subject to appeal.

If convicted by an American court, Adamov may face a prison sentence of up to 60 years and a $1.75 million fine.

The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office also launched proceedings against Adamov, charging him with embezzlement and abuse of office.

Both countries petitioned the Swiss judiciary for Adamov’s extradition. The official extradition request from the U.S. was received June 24 and the request from Russia, May 17th.