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Ukrainian oligarch faces extradition to U.S.

Ukrainian oligarch faces extradition to U.S.A court in Austria has overturned a previous ruling and granted a U.S. request to extradite Ukrainian billionaire Dmytro Firtash to face bribery allegations.

The Higher Regional Court of Vienna on February 21 granted an appeal against a previous court decision that the extradition request was "politically motivated."

"The Court considers extradition and criminal prosecution acceptable," the judge said, promising to give written reasons for this decision, Ukrinform reports.

The court stressed that its ruling did not imply that Firtash was guilty of any crime.

"It will be decided in another country whether he is guilty or not," the judge said.

Firtash, 51, along with Russia's Gazprom are co-owners of RosUkrEnergo, a Swiss-registered company that exports natural gas from Turkmenistan to Eastern Europe.

Dmytro Firtash was arrested in March 2014 by Austrian authorities in Vienna on a provisional arrest request based on charges filed in the Northern District of Illinois, USA.

U.S. officials were seeking his extradition in connection with some $18.5 million in bribes allegedly paid for a permit to mine titanium in India.

Firtash, once an ally of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, has rejected the allegations as "absurd and unfounded."

Firtash is also wanted on criminal charges in Ukraine.
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