MOSCOW, January 31 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) signed the required documents requesting Polish authorities to extradite the former deputy prosecutor of the Moscow region, Alexander Ignatenko, a suspect in the illegal gambling case.
"On January 30, the deputy prosecutor general who is in charge of handling international issues, signed all the necessary documents required for requesting the extradition of Alexander Ignatenko," a PGO official told Itar-Tass.
Ignatenko was detained by Poland's domestic security agents as he was leaving Zakopane on January 1. He arrived there for a family reunion.
On June 28, 2011, Russia charged Alexander Ignatenko with fraud in absentia. The investigator said that Ignatenko had been taking bribes in cash and other property worth 47 million roubles in the period from July 2009 through February 2011. The bribes were taken personally as well as through an intermediary in order to cover up the illegal gambling business.
He is also accused of fraud against suspected gambling business mastermind Ivan Nazarov, whom he sold a land plot in the Krasnogorsk district of the Moscow region for two million roubles, although the prosecutor had no ownership rights to that property.
On July 13, Moscow's Basmanny court sanctioned Ignatenko's arrest in absence.
Interpol issued a wanted notice for Ignatenko on July 1.
Under the Nowy Sacz district court's ruling of January 4, Ignatenko is in custody until February 9 or until a court’s ruling on his extradition to Russia.
Earlier, the Investigation Committee decided to send a group of investigators to question the former prosecutor, without waiting for completion of the extradition procedure. The defendant’s lawyer asked the Investigation Committee to let him attend the interrogation. Alexander Ignatenko is the highest-ranking official who appears in the gambling case, and the only one among its suspects on the Interpol wanted list.
In early 2011, the Federal Security Service reported that an illegal gambling ring has been exposed in the Moscow region, and named first deputy regional prosecutor Alexander Ignatenko among the suspects. They include the regional prosecutor, his colleagues and police officials. The FSB said it had encountered active resistance already at the initial stage of the probe, on the part of supervisory bodies and police.