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London Court Denies Extradition of the Suspect Charged with Embezzlement of $6 bn Due to the Declarations Made by Ukrainian State Official

Date of publication: 9 March 2016

Westminster Magistrates’ Court proclaimed its judgment to dismiss the official request lodged by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine for extradition of ex-Chairman of the Board of BTA Bank (the Republic of Kazakhstan), Mr. Roman Solodchenko, who was charged with a conspiracy to obtain property fraudulently by abuse of trust and improper performance by an official of an official duty by negligence causing grave consequences to the legally protected rights and interests of a legal entity. Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm, which represents the interests of BTA Bank, reveals the details of the case.

In Ukraine Mr. Roman Solodchenko was facing 12-year imprisonment and confiscation of property in favor of the state budget of Ukraine. The English court has found no violations in the procedure of investigation conducted in Ukraine and established that the state of Ukrainian detention facilities complies with requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights. However, the court has come to conclusion that Ukraine is unable to guarantee fair court trial. The motivation of Westminster Magistrates’ Court is as follows: “Overall the situation [in Ukraine] appears to be improving but when the Prime Minister of the country says that he would like to hire new judges and sweep away current system, it does not indicate to this court that things have changed sufficiently”.

It should be noted that during his speech in Berlin on March 6 Arseniy Yatsenyuk declared that Ukraine is willing to implement a radical judicial reform. Namely, “The reform, inter alia, stipulates for dismissal of all 9 000 current judges”, – said Mr. Yatsenyuk.

According to the comments of Roman Marchenko, the Senior Partner of Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm: “As a result Ukrainian budget will receive nothing from potential confiscation of Mr. Solodchenko’s assets as soon as delivery and enforcement of the judgment will not be in Ukraine”.

As a reminder, Mr. Solodchenko was arrested in London on January 8, 2015. Ukrainian investigation authorities charged the ex-banker with committing an offence stipulated by Article 191(5) and Article 367(2) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Mr. Solodchenko, the ex-owner of BTA Bank Mr. Ablyazov, as well as other members of organized criminal group are being charged with inflicting losses to the bank in the amount of over $ 6 bln. Criminal activities of Mr. Ablyazov and of his accessories are being investigated by competent law-enforcement authorities of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, Hungary, Latvia and a number of other countries. Earlier the English courts had granted judgments in favor of BTA Bank under the lawsuits lodged against Mr. Ablyazov for the total amount of $ 4 bln.