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 "Chances to extradite Onyshchenko good enough if he’s in UK now," - Lutsenko

There is high probability of a positive decision on MP Oleksandr Onyshchenko’s extradition to Ukraine after he is put on the international wanted list and apprehended by the Interpol in the UK.

Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko told a briefing, Censor.NET reports citing Interfax-Ukraine.

"The procedure is clear: he must be put on the wanted list and then international arrest warrant must be issued. That is the procedure Head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAP), Mr. Kholodnytskyi follows," Lutsenko stressed.

Read more: Court sanctions detention and arrest of MP Onyshchenko

The prosecutor general refused to comment on recent media reports on alleged Onyshchenko's plans to escape to Russia. "I am not a spokesman for Onyshchenko to comment on where he is going to travel. I advise him to travel to Kyiv," Lutsenko said.

Asked about the planned extradition of Onyshchenko to Ukraine, the prosecutor general explained: "As soon as Onishchenko is put on the international wanted list, the Interpol shall issue the so-called 'Red Notice' - the worldwide arrest warrant."

Read more: Probe in Onyshchenko case to be finished by October as three more suspects take plea deal, - Kholodnytskyi

However, he noted that Interpol's Red Notice may be ignored in some countries including Russia.

"That is why, unfortunately, most of the individuals charged with commission of grave crimes in the territory of Ukraine in 2005 and in 2014 have been hiding in Russia. For this very reason we believe that those desperate statements on impossibility of Onyshchenko's extradition after his escape to London are ignorant, to put it mildly. If Onyshchenko is currently in the UK, the chances of his extradition are quite good after all," Lutsenko emphasized.

On March 16, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) raided the office of Oleksandr Onyshchenko. The NABU stated the searches were carried out under the pre-trial investigation of criminal case initiated into abuse of office during the sale of natural gas extracted jointly with Ukrhazvydobuvannia SE.

Later, the NABU requested the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) to lift the immunity of people's deputy Oleksandr Onyshchenko. Moreover, the NABU and the PGO claim Onyshchenko is involved in embezzlement of 1.6 billion hryvnia (approx. $64.02 million).

On June 16, Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko issued a motion requesting Verkhovna Rada's consent for criminal prosecution, detention, and pretrial confinement of Onyshchenko. On July 5, the parliament approved the detention and arrest of the people's deputy.

The suspect himself stated he was busy with the preparation for the upcoming Olympics and not going to react to NABU's actions. On July 29, Onyshchenko said he was in the UK and had applied for political asylum.
 
 
 
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