Italian Prosecutor sees no grounds for Avakov’s extradition to Ukraine
The Italian Prosecutor General has decided that there are no grounds for allowing the extradition request from the Ukrainian authorities regarding Arsen Avakov, former Kharkiv Regional Governor, ally of imprisoned opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko and likely successful candidate in this year’s parliamentary elections. The document posted on Avakov’s Facebook page and now throughout the Internet states that “The Prosecutor General, in accordance with Article 705 of the Criminal Procedure Code, asks the Court of Appeal to state that there is no reason for the extradition of Arsen Borysovych Avakov, born in Baku (Azerbaijan) on January 2, 1964, to Ukraine, "
It was confirmed on 27 March that Avakov had been detained in Italy. He was soon released from custody, but the extradition request needed to be examined.
As reported, the charges against the former Governor and popular opposition politician in Kharkiv are ominously reminiscent of those against Tymoshenko, former Interior Minister Yury Lutsenko and others. The charges involve the same “abuse of power” clause which has given cause for concern regarding selective use of justice with relation to more prominent leaders of the opposition.