French court refuses to extradite Kostyantyn Zhevago to Ukraine
On Thursday, March 30, the court in Chambéry (France) announced its decision on the Ukrainian side's request for the extradition of Ukrainian businessman and philanthropist Kostyantyn Zhevago
The court rejected the request after a thorough review of all the case materials, taking into account all the evidence and arguments presented by the defense, Espreso reports.
Earlier, it was reported that Ukraine, through the Office of the Prosecutor General and the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), had submitted an extradition request for Zhevago. The request was made as part of an investigation into criminal proceedings related to the alleged embezzlement of funds from the Finance and Credit bank.
Zhevago, a Ukrainian businessman, claims that the recent decision of the French court confirms that the case against him lacks a legal basis. He believes that the prosecution is politically motivated and displays clear signs of a public relations campaign by state law enforcement agencies.
"This fair decision of the French court confirms the lack of sufficient grounds for extradition and proves that the accusations lack solid ground. I hope that the SBI and the Prosecutor General's Office will finally listen to my arguments and will follow the law in the further consideration of this case," Zhevago said.
It is important to note that the investigation of this case has been complicated by numerous violations of procedural norms. Over the past four years, Kostyantyn Zhevago has repeatedly appealed to the SBI and the Prosecutor General's Office with an offer to testify in order to start an objective investigation and ensure his right to fair justice. Zhevago wishes to bring the case to closure or trial as soon as possible, but neither agency has shown any interest in this. In the meantime, the case damages his business and personal reputation.
Zhevago believes that the French court's decision sets an important precedent in protecting the rights of Ukrainian citizens who may become the target of unjustified and illegal persecution by Ukrainian law enforcement agencies.