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SWITZERLAND: LAWYERS APPEAL AGAINST RUSSIAN EX-MINISTER'S ARREST

21:19 18/05/2005
GENEVA, May 18 (RIA Novosti, Ekaterina Andrianova) - The lawyers of Yevgeny Adamov, once Russia's Nuclear Energy Minister, who was arrested in Bern, have now appealed to the law court against Switzerland's Federal Department of Justice for warranting the arrest, announced one of the lawyers -- Stefan Wehrenberg, a Swiss legal expert.

The appeal was filed yesterday with the federal criminal court of Bellinzona, Ticino.

"Dr. Adamov proceeds from the fact that his arrest is out of compliance with the Swiss and international law, and with the European convention on international legal assistance. More than that, he is entitled to immunity as former federal minister, and his immunity was shrugged off as he was arrested," pointed out the lawyer.

The Federal Department of Justice has not yet received a relevant notification from the federal criminal court, said Folco Galli, departmental spokesman. The appeal may well have been filed, however, he acknowledged. Appeal or no appeal, proceedings for Adamov's prospective extradition to the USA will go on as they were because the suspect's lawyers may appeal only against his being in custody, specified Galli.

As the judicial procedure envisages, the first instance court in Bellinzona is to regard the position of the Federal Department of Justice, with a related written resolution. If the suspect's lawyers do not find it satisfactory, they may next appeal to the Federal Court of Switzerland in Lausanne, as higher instance.

Adamov hopes the Russian government will soon intercede for him with Swiss authorities, added his lawyer.

"He is anxious to go back to Russia as soon as possible, and to refute, as a free man, all accusations piled on him in the United States," Wehrenberg said.

Yevgeny Adamov was holding Russia's Nuclear Energy portfolio in 1998-2001. He was detained in Bern, May 2, and the Western District court of Pennsylvania warranted his arrest quite soon. At present, Adamov, 66, is in custody in Bern with extradition prospects.

Switzerland applied to the USA, May 2, for an extradition warrant, whose drawing procedure usually takes forty to sixty days. The suspect was offered quick extradition, which he flatly refused. The ex-minister has not consented to it to this day.

US judicial authorities suspect Yevgeny Adamov and Mark Kaushansky, his business partner and US national, of embezzling a nine million dollar grant to Russia to build up its nuclear project safety.

Adamov is facing imprisonment for up to sixty years, and a $1.75 million fine in line with the US law.

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