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Extradition hearing of Dmytro Firtash starts in Vienna Court of Appeals (Update)

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Dmytro Firtash (L), one of Ukraine’s most influential oligarchs attends a trial on April 30, 2015 in Vienna.

Photo by AFP

VIENNA, Austria – Early in the morning on Feb 21, more that 50 people crowded a small 36-seat hall of the Vienna Court of Appeals, lawyers, prosecutors,  journalists, and supporters were waiting for fugitive Ukrainian oligarch and gas mogul Dmytro Firtash to arrive in the courtroom.

The court proceedings started at 9 a.m. when Firtash, wanted for corruption allegations by U.S., came in and sat, looking calm.

The Austrian court is hearing the appeal of U.S. prosecutors, filed in April 2015, after Austrian prosecutor didn’t provide enough proof to approve a U.S. extradition warrant for the Ukrainian chemicals, media and energy trade billionaire. The U.S. FBI is seeking his extradition so he can stand trial in Chicago on accusations of bribery.

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