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Ukrainian billionaire Zhevago to be released on bail pending French ruling



On Thursday (5 January), a French court voted to release Ukrainian billionaire Kostyantyn Zivago on bail. This occurred ahead of a Jan 19 extradition hearing to decide if Zevago should be transferred to Ukraine for embezzlement or other charges.

Zhevago, a 48-year-old billionaire, owns Ferrexpo ( ), a London-listed iron-pellet producer. In December, he was arrested in France after Ukraine requested it.

DBR, Ukraine’s state bureau for investigations, stated that the billionaire was wanted in connection to the disappearance $113 million from Finance & Credit Bank.

Zhevago, one of Ukraine’s most successful businessmen told the court that Zhevago had done nothing wrong and should not be extradited.

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“This is my first visit to jail. “I didn’t do these things and I did not deserve to be in jail.”

He said, “I ask for your permission to leave prison until my next hearing.” I will do all that you ask.”

Chambery in eastern France said it had granted him bail at EUR1million ($1.05million). This confirms the report of Francois Zimeray (one Zhevago’s attorneys).


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Zhevago must show his passport to authorities and report to police three times per semaine. He must also respond to legal summonses.

The extradition hearing was initially scheduled for Thursday. However, Zhevago’s lawyers stated that they needed more time in preparation. The request was accepted by the judges and the new date was set for 19 January.

In 2019, Ukraine issued Zhevago an arrest warrant. In 2021, an international warrant will be issued.

Zhevago was an elected member of the Ukrainian Parliament between 1998 and 2019.

During Ukraine’s greater efforts to reform its oligarch-dominated economy, he was detained in France. Since 1991, Ukraine has been independent and a small number of elites have controlled its political system and economy. Volodymyr Zelenskiy is the Ukrainian President and has pledged to decrease the economic influence of the oligarchs.

Forbes Ukraine is a monthly publication that estimated Zhevago’s wealth at $2.4 Billion in 2021. The publication estimates that Zhevago’s net worth is $1.4bn in 2022.

Etienne Arnaud, Zhevago’s lawyer, told the court that he had to be able to “continue managing his business and his businesses” while in prison. He advocated for his release.

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