WARSAW, April 6 (Itar-Tass) —— Poland’s Justice Minister, Jaroslaw Gowin, will need several weeks to make a decision whether to extradite to Russia the former deputy prosecutor of the Moscow Region, Alexander Ignatenko, detained in the south of the country.
Gowin has told the Polish news agency PAP he has all the necessary documents to consider the extradition request.
“My colleagues and I are studying the presented documents. I will need a couple of weeks to make a decision,” he said.
Gowin believes Ignatenko’s case is a purely criminal affair.
“It is beyond doubt that that we should not extradite people to such countries as Belarus, if only there is a suspicion of political persecution,” he said. “In the Russian ex-prosecutor’s case there is nothing that might point in this direction.”
Alexander Ignatenko, 52, the former first deputy prosecutor of the Moscow Region, is accused of covering up a ring of gambling joints. He was put on the Interpol wanted list on charges of fraud and getting 47 million rubles in bribes from casino organizers. In the evening of January 1, 2012 Ignatenko was detained by agents of Poland’s Internal Security Agency just outside the health resort Zakopane, where he had arrived several days before to meet with his family.
Over the past three months there have been four court hearings on the Ignatenko case. On March 7 a court of appeal in Krakow pronounced the last, irreversible verdict Ignatenko should be extradited to Moscow. However, according to the Polish rules of procedure, a final decision in favor or against the extradition is the prerogative of the justice minister.