Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Sohaila Ahmed, Staff Reporter
An oil industry businessman may be extradited to Russia over allegations of bribery and corruption.
The 63-year-old was arrested in Dubai last December after an Interpol red notice was issued against him in March last year.
Following his arrest by Dubai police, he was released on bail.
Russian authorities said he offered bribes to a senior official at the ministry of natural resources and environment protection of the Republic of Kalmykia between December 2015 and April 2016.
He allegedly did so in return for the official’s help in convincing ministry inspectors to overlook irregularities at his two oil firms.
During a hearing at Dubai Court of Appeal, Emirati lawyer Awatif Mohammed from Al Rowaad Advocates representing the businessman, said the charges have been fabricated.
“The real reason behind the extradition request is that my client was the head of a society that provides support for underprivileged Muslims living in Russian territories,” said Mohammed.
She added “As per extradition agreements between the two countries, the UAE has the right to refuse to extradite a person if there were reasons this person may be prosecuted because of race, gender, religion, ethnic origins, or political beliefs.”
She told judges that death threats against her client were made public. “Official newspapers and news websites in Russia reported that threats were made against him,” she said.
“This is a valid legal base for the court to practise its right as per the agreement and to decline to extradite my client whose life will be in danger, if he is returned to Russia.”
The next hearing was rescheduled for Aug.8.
All extradition requests are heard by the Dubai Appeal court based on bilateral agreements and treaties between the UAE and the country requesting the extradition.
Recently, an extradition request against Bulgarian billionaire Vasil Krumov Bozhkov was rejected by UAE authorities.
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