MOSCOW, September 14. /TASS/. A number of European countries have turned into a "safe haven" for Russian criminals, Russian Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika told the 20th annual conference of the general meeting of the International Association of Prosecutors.
"I must tell you frankly that Russian criminal circles tend to see some EU countries as a safe haven for those who are prosecuted in Russia for committing white collar crimes," Chaika said.
"They are regarded as a safe place where to hide oneself from justice, because extradition and asylum granting practices there are rather liberal and selective. But I would like to draw your attention to the fact that alongside their ill-gotten money the criminals bring with them their criminal experience and illegal ways of doing business, including corruption and violent crimes. The experience of some European countries clearly shows this," Chaika said.
Also, he pointed out that "instances of abusing the institution of asylum are still frequent."
"It has become almost a rule for those on the wanted list to ask the country they are in at the moment for asylum in order to avoid extradition or to delay the decision-making process as much as possible, hoping the statute of limitations will expire," Chaika said. "Complaints filed at the European Court of Human Rights slow down the process still further."
"Regrettably, some of our partners often overlook the fact that the interests of human rights protection and the criminal justice process should be considered in close relationship with the interests of the crimes’ victims and society in general, including the interests of justice. Justice itself is one of the basic, universal values and an inseparable element of the rule of law," Chaika said.