Comments of an expert on the request of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation about the extradition of Sergei Pugachev.
Alexander Treshchev, head of the law firm “Treshchev and partners”:
“There is no contract on cooperation between Russia and France in the field of criminal proceedings, therefore, the French will not give him out. Sometimes, when there is no contract, there is a gentlemen’s agreement, when the parties in the absence of such documents signed in higher instances, are still meeting each other halfway. Pugachev has French citizenship, he was married to Tolstoy, a citizen of Great Britain, I highly doubt that they will help the Russian law enforcement agencies and give Pugachev out. But in law enforcement we have a special department – both in the General Prosecutor’s Office and in the Investigation Committee. When necessary, they send requests, and when they need to send them right, they draw up the documents improperly. After all this is not the first case when a person was not extradited not because there was no agreement or good will, but because of the wrong and incomplete way the documents were drawn up. Even if Russia has some kind of agreement with a country, it does not work automatically. The Russian side must submit the documents in full measure, in a way that they do not arouse any doubt with the law enforcement agencies of the country that receives the request, that the person in question really is guilty, not just suspected of having committed some crime. Therefore, it is not enough to have a contract, sometimes corruption schemes are being realized. I know of a few cases when people managed to make it so that they would have been extradited if the documents were timely and correctly issued, but for some reason it did not happen.”