WASHINGTON, July 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has asked the United States to hand over a Russian businessman, Leonid Nevzlin, who is currently on international wanted list, the Russian Embassy told RIA Novosti Wednesday. "Yesterday, Russia requested that the U.S. State Department extradite Nevzlin, a former top manager of Yukos, because he is on the international wanted list and is charged with serious crimes," a spokesman told.
On Wednesday, Nevzlin proposed to the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe that Russia be expelled from the Group of Eight industrialized nations. He also suggested that the country should not be granted World Trade Organization (WTO) membership.
According to Nevzlin, the U.S. and other G8 member countries cannot allow Russia to chair the G8 due to the current situation in Russia.
Nevzlin compared a fraud investigation opened against former Russian premier Mikhail Kasyanov to the Yukos case, which saw former chief executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky and another top official jailed earlier this year after a long trial. He said the Kasyanov case looked like it would become the next Yukos-style campaign in which, as he claimed, the power of the FSB (Federal Security Service) and Russian federal prosecutors are used to eliminate a political rival.
Nevzlin also asked if Russia deserves WTO membership.
According to a U.S. official, the United States granted Nevzlin a visa regardless of Russia's repeated extradition requests.
Nevzlin said he had already been in the U.S. for 10 days, holding meetings with different world democracy watchdogs.
He admitted that Russian officials had been sending Israel the charges against him for more than a year but "to date none of the documents passed the expert examination by the [Israeli] prosecutor's office." Nevzlin also holds an Israeli passport and lives in the country.
The U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, known also as Helsinki Commission, is an independent body within the U.S. government.
The Russian General Prosecutor's office put Nevzlin on the international wanted list in July 2004 on a murder charge. According to Deputy Prosecutor General Vladimir Kolesnikov, it sent Interpol documents with new accusations, including charges of murder and attempted murder, in July this year.
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