Spain jails Media-Most chief

Mogul claims he's victim of political prosecution

MADRID — A Spanish court jailed Russian media tycoon Vladimir Gusinsky on Monday in advance of an extradition hearing.

The Media-Most topper, wanted in Russia on allegations of multimillion-dollar fraud, was taken into custody at his villa in Cadiz in southern Spain, where he had been under house arrest.

He was scheduled to be moved to Soto del Real prison in Madrid for the hearing Thursday, officials said.

Gusinsky was apprehended Dec. 12 on an international warrant from Moscow. He has been under house arrest since Dec. 22, when he posted $5.5 million bail.

Russian prosecutors allege Gusinsky overstated the assets of his Media-Most empire to win $300 million in loan guarantees in 1996 from state-owned natural gas monopoly Gazprom.

Gusinsky maintains he’s a victim of a politically motivated prosecution because of Media-Most’s criticism of Russian prexy Vladimir Putin.

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