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Russia's Foreign Ministry unhappy with extradition of Russian citizen to U.S.

July 24, 2013, 11:20 UTC+3

"They are not guaranteed fair treatment by the justice system," statement says

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MOSCOW, July 24 (Itar-Tass) - Foreign Ministry of The Russian Federation deeply regrets Vilnius court ruling to extradite Russian citizen Ustinov to the United States. The official statement reads: "We reaffirm our stance on impermissibility of applying American legislation to Russian citizens through extraterritorial jurisdiction, including arresting them on the soil of other countries followed by extradition to the U.S. where, judging by experience, they are not guaranteed fair treatment by the justice system."

“The U.S. practice to lodge applications to third countries for extraditing Russian citizens arouses serious concern. It gravely ignores the legal procedure, including the 1999 Russian-American Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters,” Dolgov said.

“If American law enforcers have pretensions towards the activity of any Russian citizens [like as Dmitry Ustinov], they should contact Russian colleagues, within the above-mentioned agreement, and not seek for the arrest of our citizens on the territory of third countries, sometimes by using real political pressure,” the Foreign Ministry Commissioner stressed.

“We confirm our position on inadmissibility to use American legislation towards Russian citizens, including the arrests on the territories of third countries with the following extradition to the U.S. where fair justice is not guaranteed as experience proves,” the diplomat said.

“We hope that the Vilnius court will revise its decision and restore justice due to an appeal, which is now being prepared by the Russian side,” he said.

The Russian Embassy in Lithuania maintains permanent contacts with the lawyer of Dmitry Ustinov and “will continue to provide any support to him”.

On July 22, the Vilnius District Court granted the petition of the General Prosecutor's Office of Lithuania and took the decision to extradite to the United States 47-year-old citizen of Russia Dmitry Ustinov suspected of arms trafficking.

"The court hasn’t found any grounds for extradition refusal. There is no actual evidence that the prosecution of the Russian is of political nature, as he claims" the judge Vladislavas Lencikas said. This court decision may be appealed within seven days.

The Russian citizen has been arrested in May on arrival at Vilnius airport and placed in jail upon court decision. The U.S. Justice Department has requested legal assistance from the Lithuanian side in his prosecution. On March 26, the U.S. Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Ustinov.

The man is suspected of illegal arms trafficking. The objects of transactions were night vision tools, thermal imaging and other dual-use equipment that is in demand among various militants and criminal gangs. It is claimed that the amount of transactions could exceed $180,000.

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