Finance Minister Kalousek on Torubarov’s extradition

Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek says he made a last-minute attempt to prevent the extradition of Russian businessman Alexej Torubarov to his homeland. In an interview for Lidove Noviny the finance minister said that when he learnt that an extradition order had been signed without the asylum proceedings having been properly concluded he had called the control tower at Vaclav Havel Airport and ordered them to prevent Torubarov’s plane leaving at any cost and even place a tanker in its way. The plane eventually left with Torubarov on board and his family have now filed charges against the Czech Justice Ministry for allowing his extradition. In Russia the businessman is wanted for fraud and blackmailing an intelligence officer but he claims that he is being persecuted by the Russian intelligence service. Foreign Minister Karel Schwazrzenberg said his extradition was a regrettable mistake caused by a bureaucratic mix-up.