Switzerland refuses to extradite businessman to Russia

Klyushin has complained of his treatement in the maximum security prison in Switzerland. Keystone / Laurent Gillieron

The Swiss authorities have rejected an attempt by Moscow to extradite a Russian businessman caught in an extradition tussle between Russia and the United States.

This content was published on August 30, 2021 - 11:57

Vladislav Klyushin has been held in Switzerland since March on a US arrest warrant that accuses him of industrial espionage – namely of hacking into US companies to steal data.

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

His detention in Switzerland was first reported by investigative news outlet Gotham City in June, days before US President Joe Biden met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in Geneva for high level talks.

Klyushin is currently fighting a decision to extradite him to the US. But on Monday, the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper reported that the Swiss justice ministry turned down a rival extradition attempt by Russia on August 12.

The Swiss news agency Keystone-SDA reports that the Russian extradition request was lodged on April 7, some days before the US request on April 19.

The justice ministry said it turned down Russia’s request because the offences Klyushin is charged with by Moscow are incompatible with the Swiss criminal code. 

Klyushin is being held in a maximum-security facility in southwestern Switzerland, having been arrested shortly after touching down in his private jet with his family for a holiday in Switzerland.

His lawyer told the Tages AnzeigerExternal link that Klyushin is unhappy at being surrounded by heavily armed guards at the prison and that he believes the US extradition attempt is politically motivated.

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