French Court Seeks US Guarantee of Adequate Treatment for Greek Businessman in Extradition Case

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On Wednesday, a French court requested that the US authorities provide assurances of adequate treatment for Nikos Bogonikolos, a Greek businessman, before considering his extradition.

Bogonikolos is facing charges of conspiracy and smuggling sensitive technologies used in quantum computing and nuclear testing to aid the Russian military.

The French court has given the US one month to provide a guarantee specifying the maximum potential jail sentence for Bogonikolos and ensuring appropriate treatment for any health issues he may have.

According to Nikos Zindros, Bogonikolos's lawyer, EU law requires a guarantee that the penalties imposed will be proportionate to the defendant's actions before extraditing someone to another state.

Bogonikolos, who is the president of the Aratos Group, a collection of defense and technology companies based in the Netherlands and Greece, was arrested in Paris in May on a US warrant. He is currently in custody awaiting the resolution of the extradition proceedings.

The US Attorney's Office alleges that Bogonikolos has been involved in smuggling US-origin military and dual-use technologies to Russia in violation of US law since 2017. They claim that Bogonikolos and his Aratos Group, under the guise of a defense contractor for NATO and other ally countries, were secretly aiding Russia's war efforts and the development of advanced weapons.

The US Attorney's Office states that Moscow-based companies, Serniya Engineering and Sertal LLC, which operate under the direction of Russian intelligence services, were the intended recipients of Aratos' advanced electronics, testing equipment, and tactical battlefield gear used in quantum cryptography, nuclear weapons testing, and military operations.

Bogonikolos denies these allegations and argues that the items were intended for use by Aratos, not for smuggling to Russia.

In response, the French court has requested further clarifications from the US regarding the charges of conspiracy, criminal organization, and money laundering against Bogonikolos, as it deemed the evidence provided insufficient to support the charges.

The French court's decision highlights the importance of guaranteeing a fair and proportionate extradition process before surrendering an individual to another state.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024