Courchevel: The Ukrainian billionaire was released on bail of one million euros
The wealthy businessman and former Ukrainian MP Kostiantyn Zevago was arrested on December 28 in Courchevel (Savoy). He presented himself as a “political” victim before a French court on Thursday before being released on bail in compliance with his country’s extradition request. The session held in the investigation panel of the Chamber of Appeals Court was supposed to be devoted to the validity of Ukraine’s extradition request.
However, at the request of MM’s lawyers, this discussion was postponed to January 19. Supported by François Zimeray and Etienne Arnaud, plus the advocate general Richard Pallain. The reason: “The need to examine all the documents in this 244-page file, which includes translations of dozens of decisions in Ukrainian and reports on human rights in this country,” explained Arnaud.
One million euro deposit
This question was evacuated, the exchanges then focused on the demand for the release of the ex-deputy, who was detained in the Aiton (Savoie) pre-trial detention center. In the afternoon, he was released on bail of one million euros. “In a context marked by legal emotion and empathy, the Court sought to ensure the supremacy of the law,” the lawyers cheered.
Their client was placed under judicial supervision, in particular, the ban on leaving the country, as well as the obligation to hand over his two passports, “and” must report to the police station of his place of residence three times a week. Jevago previously claimed that he was a victim of “political affairs” and “oligarchs”.
“They say that I am an oligarch. That’s not true”
“They say in Ukraine that I am an oligarch. It is not true, I have always fought against them, “injustice”, “corruption”. Today I am paying for it” and “I don’t deserve it”.
Accused of embezzling $113 million from the bankrupt Finance and Credit Bank in 2015, he vainly demanded an explanation from the audience, insisting it was “15 times, three years.” His lawyers also tried to deconstruct the image of an oligarch who “gains wealth from the state during privatizations under dubious circumstances and continues to operate in close contact with the state.”
On the contrary, Zimeray said: Kostiantin Jevago, the main shareholder of the mining company Ferrexpo, rightly chose to list his company on the London Stock Exchange, where “standards are the highest”, where real oligarchs choose. Moscow Stock Exchange”. According to Forbes magazine, “He is the only entrepreneur of this size”, whose fortune is estimated at 1.3 billion dollars.
Return to Ukraine to “fight the Russian aggressors”.
And “to remove any uncertainty, Kostiantyn Jevago fully supports the people in the fight against Russia”, supported Me Zimeray. Moreover, if he wants to return to Ukraine, “it is not to go to prison, but to fight against Russian aggressors,” the businessman insisted in front of his wife and daughter.
In 1998-2019, a former deputy, sometimes independent, sometimes in the camp of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, he was also “an actor of the democratic movement in Ukraine from the Orange Revolution to the Maidan” in 2004. According to Me Zimeray in 2014.
The latter, a former human rights ambassador, also warned of the risk of handing over his client to the Ukrainian authorities “to please them”. “We can admire and support the “often heroic struggle” of Ukrainians against Russia without “being naive” about the “state of justice” in a country with a conviction record in 2021 by the European Court of Human Rights.
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In addition, Mr. Jevago will present today all the “guarantees of representation” campaigning for his release: in particular, the rental of an apartment in Paris and a bond “that can reach up to one million euros”, according to Me Arnaud. accidentally considered the notification of his client’s request for temporary arrest “illegal”.
Many arguments were rejected by the Advocate General. “Why do you want me to be nice to the Ukrainian authorities or indifferent to the conflict? This is not an argument! “, Richard Pallain re-named it, speaking out against this release.
According to him, these placements will be only “conditional”. Then, after noting Mr. Yevago’s “very significant assets” and the resulting possible escape risk, he turned to the president: “You are the guarantor of the possibility of his handover to the Ukrainian authorities.”