Kremlin-linked businessman held in Switzerland

The Federal Office of Justice confirmed Swiss news reports that Vladislav Klyushin was arrested in canton Valais on March 21 and was being held in the town of Sion. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

A Russian businessman suspected of insider trading is being held in Switzerland ahead of possible extradition to the United States, it has been confirmed.

This content was published on June 9, 2021 - 15:59
Gotham City/Reuters/AFP/sb

The Federal Office of Justice has confirmed Swiss news reports that Vladislav Klyushin was arrested in canton Valais on March 21 and was being held in the town of Sion in southern Switzerland.

The justice office confirmed to the AFP news agency on Tuesday that the US embassy in Bern requested his extradition, accusing him of "running insider trading in the tens of millions (of dollars) with several accomplices".

Klyushin has reportedly opposed the US extradition request. His lawyer in Geneva did not return phone calls seeking
comment on the case.

The affair was first reported on Tuesday by Gotham City, a Swiss investigative news site that specialises in court cases and economic crime, following a Swiss Federal Court ruling. The news comes ahead of the June 16 summit between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva.

Klyushin owns M13, a Russian company that offers media monitoring as well as cyber-security services. Its website says its services are used by the Russian presidential administration and government.

Gotham City said Klyushin is close to Alexei Gromov, a senior executive in the Russian presidential administration who is considered “the person in charge of the Kremlin’s media control”. Gromov was placed under US sanctionsExternal link two months ago for his alleged involvement in Russian efforts to interfere in the 2020 US presidential election.

The Swiss justice ministry is responsible for extradition requests but they can be appealed to the Federal Criminal Court and Switzerland's highest court, the Federal Court.

The Federal Court on May 20 rejected Klyushin's request to be released from custody in Sion while he fights extradition, saying it saw no need to intervene in the case on procedural grounds.

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