Prague Court Sends Russian Citizen Wanted By Ukraine To Detention Pending Extradition Decision
By RFE/RL's Russian Service September 14, 2021
PRAGUE -- The Prague City Court has remanded Russian citizen Aleksandr Franchetti, who is wanted by Ukraine on an international arrest warrant, in custody until a decision is made on his possible extradition to Kyiv.
Franchetti, who was detained at Prague's international airport on September 12, was taken to the Pankrac detention center in the Czech capital after the court handed down its ruling on September 14.
Franchetti is wanted by Ukraine for his alleged involvement in Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Black Sea region of Crimea.
His lawyer, Jan Schwartz, immediately appealed the court's decision.
Franchetti has admitted to being an active participant in the events in Crimea in 2014. Just days before Russia's military occupation of the region, he created a paramilitary formation called North Wind, which helped seize power lines and gas pipelines.
In an interview posted on YouTube, Franchetti said he acted in coordination with Russia's naval command at the Crimean port of Sevastopol.
According to media reports, Franchetti was granted permanent residence in the Czech Republic in 2000 and has worked there as a fitness trainer. He says he has never violated international law.
With reporting by iDnes and TASS
Copyright (c) 2021. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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