29 August, 2003
A one-time Russian media baron held here on an Interpol warrant issued by Russian authorities on Thursday applied for a temporary release from custody, claiming that the warrant was the product of political pressure.
Vladimir Gusinskiy, 51, wanted in Russia since 2000 in connection with a multi-million-dollar money laundering and loan fraud scandal, was formally remanded in custody on Monday following his arrest at Athens' International Airport ''Eleftherios Venizelos'' last week.
The former chief of the Media-Most Holdings, one of Russia’s largest private broadcast networks, arrived in Athens aboard a flight from Tel-Aviv. He was traveling with both Russian and Israeli passports.
Gusinskiy's request is expected to be reviewed by an Appellate Council of justices on Friday.
Sources said that an Appellate Magistrate has already submitted a recommendation to the Council for the release of the Russian businessman on a 60-thousand-euro bail and on the condition that he not leave the country.
The Russian fugitive's arrest has reportedly generated international pressure -- from the US, Israel and even within Russia -- for his unconditional release, as was the case when he was again intercepted in Spain three years ago.
Source: Athens News Agency