Gusinsky’s extradition supported

Court free of political pressure, could rule otherwise

MADRID — Spain’s public prosecutor supported the Russian government’s request that Media-Most topper Vladimir Gusinsky be extradited for alleged fraud during the first day of hearings at the National Court of Criminal Justice.

Move comes as little surprise — Spain views Russia as an important trading partner — but it hardly seals Gusinsky’s fate.

“The crunch will come when the court decides whether to throw out the fraud charges or accept Gusinsky’s extradition. The court is in principle free of political pressure. The decision could depend on how liberal the judges are,” a Spanish legal expert said.

The court will decide today if Gusinsky should remain in prison during the proceedings.

Gusinsky was arrested in Spain on Dec. 13 after an international arrest order was issued Nov. 20 by Russia’s deputy prosecutor, Vladimir Kolmogorov.

Gusinsky has insisted that the extradition is an attempt to silence Media-Most’s criticism of the government.

(Emiliano de Pablos contributed to this report.)

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