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Italy extradites to Russia former border development agency chief accused of embezzlement

April 05, 11:31 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Investigators found that in summer 2009 he carried out fraudulent schemes jointly with a range of other individuals to embezzle state funds allocated for the construction of a railway checkpoint
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Dmitry Bezdelov

Dmitry Bezdelov

© Eduard Molchanov/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, April 5. /TASS/. Italy’s authorities on Tuesday extradited to Russia the former head of the federal agency for state border facilities development Rosgranitsa, Dmitry Bezdelov, accused of embezzling 1.2 bln rubles ($17 mln), the official spokesman for Russia’s Prosecutor-General’s Office said.

The former official is accused of setting up and leading a criminal group with the goal of committing grave crimes and large-scale fraud as part of a criminal group with abuse of powers, spokesman Alexander Kurennoy said.

Investigators found that in summer 2009 Bezdelov carried out fraudulent schemes jointly with a range of other individuals to embezzle state funds allocated for the construction of a railway checkpoint on the border with Abkhazia, Georgia’s breakaway region recognized by Russia as independent state.

Kommersant business daily reported earlier that the state funds were found on the accounts of the Agrosoyuz bank co-owned by Bezdelov’s father. The embezzlement was revealed by an audit commission in 2013.

Bezdelov, 45, who had led the federal agency since August 2008, fled Russia to avoid prosecution and was put on the international wanted list in May 2014. In October that year, he was detained in Italy. Russia’s Prosecutor-General’s Office had sent a request on his extradition that was satisfied this March.

The defense lawyers of Bezdelov insisted that in case of extradition he could face "inhuman conditions of Russian prisons." Russia’s Prosecutor-General’s Office said the conditions of Bezdelov’s confinement in prison would be in line with European standards and Italian diplomats could also control this.

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