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Russia to give tough response to possible extradition of Dmitry Ustinov in US

July 31, 2013, 14:29 UTC+3
Konstantin Dolgov said that from the point of view of international law, it is illegal
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Photo ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

Photo ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, July 31 (Itar-Tass) - Russia will give a tough response to a possible extradition of Dmitry Ustinov in the United States, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and Supremacy of Law Konstantin Dolgov told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

“We will give a tough and negative response, the verdict of the Vilnius court (on the extradition of Dmitry Ustinov in the U.S. - Itar-Tass) should be overruled. We hope that an appeal will be satisfied,” Dolgov underlined.

“There is a bilateral agreement with the U.S. / mutual legal assistance in criminal matters /. A very good one, - continued Dolgov. - If there are claims regarding Mr. Ustinov – although I don’t know whether they are justified, - just pick up the phone, send a note, make contact, specify the nature of your claims. But it’s being done otherwise: a citizen /of Russia/ is arrested in a third-party territory, we usually learn about it from the media, and then he is being extradited to the U.S., and we know perfectly the sort of sentences they have. I can consciously say that disregarding the rightness of our citizens the guilt must be proved first, and then reviewed by the Russian court."

“Moscow is against the ‘smuggling’ of Russian citizens in the United States. From the point of view of international law, it is illegal.” “The rights of our citizens must be respected, we are against extradition to third countries, - he said. - There is a bilateral mechanism, let's use it."

On July 22, the court made a decision on Ustinov’s extradition.

The court allowed filing an appeal until July 29, but Ustinov didn’t use this opportunity.

According to the procedures, the district court considers an appeal against its decision as well as compliance of the document with the legal norms, and, should everything comply with the law, within several days it passes the appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Ustinov, 47, was detained in May upon arrival at Vilnius’ airport and put in jail by court order. The U.S. Department of Justice then requested Lithuania’s legal assistance in prosecuting him. On March 26, the US authorities issued an arrest warrant for Ustinov.

He is suspected of illegally trading in night vision equipment, thermal imagery devices and other dual purpose gadgetry that is actively purchased by rebels and criminal gangs. Ustinov’s arms sales might have purportedly exceeded $180,000.

“Double standards surely raise unfavorable criticism”

Moscow also has questions to the assessment by the U.S. of the situation with former U.S. military Bradley Manning, Dolgov said. "The double standards in the assessment by the U.S. of this kind of situations raise questions, - he said. - If you require almost absolute freedom of speech from the other, it means that you should approach with the same standards to yourself. If the standard is different, it cannot cause complaints. "

“As for parallels, in our interdependent world, there may occur a lot,” - Dolgov said, when asked whether the situation with Manning will have any impact on Russia’s view on Snowden Case. "I'll have to see what Manning’s sentence will look like," - he added.

Bradley Manning, the informant of "Wikileaks" on the eve has been found of espionage and stealing state property. At the same time, Judge Denise Lind rejected the most serious charge against Manning - helping the enemy of the United States, which threatened him with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

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