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Russian businessman extradited

Switzerland has extradited a Russian businessman accused of defrauding his country of $400 million (SFr407 million), the Federal Justice Office announced on Monday.

He was handed over to Russia following an 18-month legal battle that ended with his appeal against extradition being dismissed earlier this month by the European Court of Human Rights.

The Russian authorities have been trying to extradite the man since his arrest in Zurich in December 2006.

The accused and several co-defendants allegedly inflicted millions of dollars in damage to a state-owned shipping company between 2001 and 2005 by leasing out ocean freighters at below market rates.

The businessman claims he is being persecuted for political reasons, and the Federal Court in Lausanne ruled in December that he could not be extradited without a guarantee that his human rights would be safeguarded.

The justice office said it had since received the necessary guarantees from Russia to allow the extradition.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR