WARSAW, May 2 (Itar-Tass) — A Polish Justice Ministry official said former first deputy prosecutor of the Moscow region Alexander Ignatenko, who was detained in southern Poland on January 1, will not be extradited to Russia yet.
"There'll be no decision as yet. We're gathering additional materials," said Michael Kulikowski, an official in charge of the Ministry's international contacts who handles the Ignatenko extradition issue.
Earlier reports said the decision might be passed as early as this week.
"We're making no haste. The decision is not due before the second half of May," Kulikowski said.
According to the Polish Justice Ministry official, the Helsinki human rights foundation actively works on Alexander Ignatenko's case. The Foundation officials asked the Polish Justice Ministry for a meeting.
"They don't want him to be extradited. We'll hear out their arguments, as we wish to be certain there is no politics behind it," he said.
Former first deputy prosecutor of the Moscow region Alexander Ignatenko, 52, is a suspect in the case over covering up illegal gambling business in the Moscow region. The investigators said he had taken 47 million roubles of bribes.
Ignatenko was detained by Poland's domestic security agents as he was leaving Zakopane on January 1. He had arrived at the town for reunion with his family.
Under the Nowy Sacz district court's ruling of January 4, Ignatenko was in custody until February 9. On February 8, the court extended the arrest by another four months. The former prosecutor is kept in the remand ward of Nowy Sacz.
In early 2011, Russia's Federal Security Service reported that an illegal gambling ring had been exposed in the Moscow region, and named first deputy regional prosecutor Alexander Ignatenko among the suspects. The FSB said it had encountered active resistance at the initial stage of the probe, on the part of supervisory bodies and police.
The appeals court in Krakow upheld the ruling by the district court in the town of Nowy Sacz on the possibility to extradite former first deputy prosecutor of the Moscow region Alexander Ignatenko to Russia.
Comparing the hearings over the extradition of Ahmed Zakayev, who was not extradited to Russia by Polish court's ruling, and the former deputy regional prosecutor, accused of economic crime and abetting illegal gambling business, Justice Minister Jaroslaw Gowin said he saw "a significant, fundamental difference between Zakayev's case and the case against Ignatenko."