Switzerland Asks U.S. For Former Ukraine Premier
BERN, Apr. 28, 1999 — (Agence France Presse) Switzerland asked the United States on Tuesday to extradite former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko so that he can be tried on money laundering charges, Swiss federal police said Tuesday.
Lazarenko (pictured), 46, is currently being held in an immigration detention facility in the San Francisco area, following his arrest in the United States in February.
Investigating magistrate Laurent Kasper-Ansermet, in Geneva, issued an international arrest warrant for Lazarenko earlier this month and announced he would press for extradition.
Lazarenko was arrested before in Switzerland, last December, when he entered the country with a Panamanian passport, and Kasper-Ansermet indicted him for money laundering.
He was released on bail after two weeks in detention, but failed to show up as promised before the Swiss courts.
Lazarenko, appointed prime minister in 1996 but later removed by President Leonid Kuchma, is asking the United States for political asylum, saying he is the target of political enemies.
He has been indicted in Ukraine on charges that he stole $2.3 million from
the Ukraine treasury, illegally opened foreign bank accounts and abused his