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Austria refuses to extradite former NBU head suspected of stealing UAH 200 million

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An Austrian court has rejected a request by the Ukrainian authorities to extradite former National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Governor Kyrylo Shevchenko, stated by Austrian outlet Der Standard on Feb. 6.

Shevchenko claimed that he is under political persecution by the Office of the President and sought political asylum in Austria.

Read also: Ukraine’s anti-graft agency issues arrest warrant for ex-central bank governor

“Although Ukraine filed an extradition request, the Austrian courts rejected it,” the article notes.

“he authorities and courts argued that Shevchenko’s transfer to Ukraine is currently impossible because of the war.”

The former head of the NBU called the NABU case against him a “classic political persecution,” and said that the was being attacked for his refusal to issue hryvnia and reduce the discount rate in the first year of the war.

Shevchenko was appointed head of the NBU in July 2020. Prior to his appointment, he headed the state-owned Ukrgasbank.

According to the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, from 2014 to 2020, the management of Ukrgasbank used information about banking service agreements concluded with large clients to embezzle funds. According to its investigation, more than UAH 206 million of the state-owned bank’s funds were unjustifiably transferred to 52 fictitious agents.

In Nov. 2022, Shevchenko was put on the international wanted list.

Later that year, it was reported that the NABU had filed a motion to extend the investigation against Shevchenko in the Ukrgasbank case.

Read also: Ukraine central bank governor resigns due to health problems

The High Anti-Corruption Court chose to remand Shevchenko to custody in absentia, since he is currently in Austria.

In August 2023, Shevchenko was charged with a new criminal case related to the theft of UAH 200 million from Ukrgasbank.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine

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