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Karelian businessman Vasily Popov asked for political asylum in Finland

Businessman, leader of the Karelian "Yabloko" Vasily Popov, required to be extradited by the Russian side, asked for political asylum in Finland. The politician told about it on March 22.

According to Popov, he had just finished the procedure for filing documents to the migration service. His decision to ask for political asylum in a European country occurs due to the reluctance to appear before the Russian justice, which, according to Popov, has political grounds for his prosecution. About a month ago, the Minister of Justice of Finland had to make a decision on extradition, since the approval of the Supreme Court in this regard was received on February 18. However, the minister is delaying the adoption of complex solution.

"On the one hand, the Minister of Justice understands that my case has political circumstances. But according to the agreement between Russia and Finland, the Finnish side should certainly trust the Russian justice. So if they say I am guilty, than I am guilty. And if they demand my extradition, Finland is obliged to give it," Vasily Popov said.

The businessman added that it would be much easier for him to get political asylum in a European country than refusal of the Minister of Justice on extradition to Russia.

The General Prosecutor's Office of Russia appealed to the Finnish authorities with the demand for extradition of Popov. According to investigators, from 2011 to 2014 a group of people (including Popov's wife, Vice-Speaker of the Karelian Legislative Assembly Anastasia Kravchuk) purchased a catering complex in Petrozavodsk at a lower cost by deception and abuse of trust of the Petrozavodsk City Hall employees. The damage to the city budget, according to investigators, was 10 million rubles. Vasily Popov heads the regional branch of the party "Yabloko", and has a residence permit in Finland. Anastasia Kravchuk declared that there was a political component in "Petropit" case.

Human Rights Commission "Memorial" found defendants of "Petropit" case, Olga Zaletskaya, Alexander Kornilov, Anastasia Popova, Vasyl Kravchuk, wrongfully persecuted for political reasons.

Natalia Turchinskaya, «7x7»

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