French court refuses to extradite Kostyantyn Zhevago, lifts all restrictions
The Supreme Court of France in Paris, after a detailed analysis of all the materials submitted, taking into account all the evidence and arguments presented by the prosecution and defense, put an end to the extradition case of Ukrainian businessman and philanthropist Kostyantyn Zhevago and denied the extradition request of Ukraine
This was reported by Reuters.
The decision of the French court clearly states that the state of Ukraine cannot ensure a fair trial against Kostyantyn Zhevago. Therefore, the case against him is dropped.
In addition, all the restrictions that existed have been lifted from Mr Zhevago. Earlier it was reported that the request for the extradition of Kostyantyn Zhevago was filed by the Ukrainian side, in particular by the Office of the Prosecutor General and the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), as part of the investigation into the criminal proceedings on the alleged embezzlement of funds of the Finance and Credit Bank.
Zhevago has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
"(The court) concludes that the petitioning state (Ukraine) is not able to guarantee that Mr. Zhevago will be tried by a court that can ensure fundamental procedural guarantees and protection of the defense rights," said a court verdict obtained by Reuters.
The businessman emphasizes that the final decision of the French court confirms that the case against him is fabricated and has no legal basis. Instead, it has signs of political persecution and pressure. And he hopes that the State Bureau of Investigation and the Prosecutor General's Office will finally hear the decisions of international courts and follow the law in the further consideration of this case.
"My commitment to refuting the baseless allegations made against me in Ukraine remains unwavering," Zhevago said in a statement.
"As soon as it becomes feasible within the Ukrainian jurisdiction, I will make every effort to challenge the accusations against me through all legal channels."
Zhevago's lawyers have already reported numerous offenses committed by law enforcement officers in the above-mentioned case. In particular, they include prosecution of an obviously innocent person, non-recognition and non-admission of defense counsels in criminal proceedings, conducting an unreasonable search, non-admission of Kostyantyn Zhevago to testify, failure to provide pre-trial investigation materials and other violations.
Ukraine issued an arrest warrant in 2019 for Zhevago, 49, who served in parliament from 1998 to 2019, with an international arrest warrant following in 2021.
Zhevago reiterates that he wants to bring the case, which has been investigated in violation of all legal terms of criminal investigation for more than 4 years, either to closure or to trial as soon as possible, but neither the State Bureau of Investigation nor the Prosecutor General's Office shows any interest in this. Meanwhile, this case is damaging the business and personal reputation of the entrepreneur and philanthropist.