Extradition of Bulgarian billionaire rejected by UAE authorities

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Nevin Al Sukari - Abu Dhabi - The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Sohaila Ahmed, Staff Reporter

An extradition request against Bulgarian billionaire, Vasil Krumov Bozhkov, was rejected by UAE authorities.

Bulgarian prosecutors charged him with 18 crimes, including leading an organised crime group, tax evasion, and attempted bribery.

Bozhkov, 64, who left Bulgaria for as a tourist in January 2020 where he was briefly detained and then released, denied any wrongdoing before the UAE authorities.

“Abu Dhabi Federal Criminal Court of Appeal declared in a final and irrevocable judgement that no extradition order would be made against our client,” said Ghassan El Daye, from Charles Russell Speechlys (CRS) representing Bozhkov.

The extradition request is related to allegations of tax evasion and other claims amounting to more than 300 million Euros, said head of CRS’s Dubai Regional Litigation team defending Bozhkov.

Dubai A bird’s eye view of the Dubai skyline.

“Following a 15-month extensive litigation, the court found that formal and substantive requirements of an extradition request were not met by Bulgarian authorities,” he said.

The court also found that basic documents such as the original Bulgarian European Arrest Warrant to the UAE authorities issued on 29 January 2020 for 72 hours, were not provided.

“The arrest warrant, which was the basis of an Interpol Red Notice, violated the UAE Extradition Act 2006, the European Framework Decision 2002, and was issued out of conformity with the Court of Justice of the European Union case law,” said El Daye.

He said its mandatory for any extradition request to include more than personal and identity information of the person against whom the extradition is filed.

“It must include the alleged crimes, procedures taken by the applying authorities, relevant articles of the law concerning these alleged crimes, punishment and any relevant statute of limitations supported by the proper original documents.”

“The court concluded that lack of even one of the above requirements made the extradition request invalid, and therefore rejected the request in a final ruling,” said El Daye.

He said the verdict was issued on April 27 and has since become final.

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