Russian businessman Chichvarkin confident of fair London trial
London`s Westminster court will on Tuesday begin a hearing into an extradition request by Russia for businessman Yevgeny Chichvarkin, wanted on kidnapping and extortion charges.
The former co-owner of Russia`s largest mobile phone retailer, Euroset, was arrested in London on September 7, but released on bail the same day awaiting an extradition hearing. During Tuesday`s hearings, the judge and lawyers are to decide on the dates for the following court sessions.
The fugitive businessman has been on the wanted list in Russia since late January on suspicion of involvement in the 2003 abduction of the firm`s shipping agent, who had allegedly stolen large quantities of mobile phones, as well as the extortion of money from him.
"I am not expecting any infringement of the law, as has always been the case when the law enforcement agencies operate in Russia," Chichvarkin said in an interview with the Russian daily Vedomosti. "As I am innocent before the law, I am not afraid of anything unlawful."
Russia sent a formal extradition request to the U.K. for the businessman in June.
Last September, Chichvarkin and his business partner Timur Artemyev sold Euroset to the ANN investment company for $1.25 billion. Euroset runs over 5,000 outlets in 1,464 cities in Russia and some of the former Soviet republics. The company`s sales reached $5.61 billion in 2007.