Swiss police arrest former Russian minister on US request
BERN: Swiss police have arrested former Russian atomic energy minister Yevgeny Adamov at the request of the United States, which is seeking his extradition, the Justice Ministry said on Wednesday.
Ministry spokesman Folco Galli said that Adamov, who is wanted by Washington for alleged involvement in an up to $10 million fraud, was detained on Monday in the Swiss capital Bern.
Adamov would go before a court later on Wednesday to say whether he agreed to extradition, the official added. US prosecutors link Adamov, 65, to the theft of up to $10 million of funds sent by Washington to boost security at dozens of nuclear sites scattered across Russia.
“We are trying to find out what’s going on there,” said a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, adding that Russian diplomats were in contact with Adamov’s lawyers on the case.
Adamov was a minister under Boris Yeltsin but was ousted by President Vladimir Putin, who came to power in 2000, following an investigation into Adamov’s ties to the country’s business community. His job as Russian atomic energy minister was marked by his resolve to push ahead with construction of a nuclear reactor in Iran which Washington says Tehran could use to acquire nuclear weapons. Both Russia and Iran have always denied that. He also campaigned to amend Russian legislation to allow imports of spent nuclear fuel to storage facilities in Siberia and elsewhere - a measure long opposed by Russian liberal and environmental groups. reuters