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EXCLUSIVE: Court case involving Russian billionaire Georgy Bedzhamov shrouded in secrecy

A COURT case concerning the extradition of a billionaire oligarch wanted in Russia over one of the country's biggest ever bank collapses was shrouded in secrecy. Georgy Bedzhamov, 57, (above with Vladimir Putin) the former head of the Russian bobsleigh team, is fighting extradition to Russia to face charges of major fraud concerning his time at the Foreign Economic Industrial Bank in 2009. The one time friend of Vladimir Putin (pictured with him above), who lives in Knightsbridge, claims the charges are politically motivated, but in April 2019 the High Court placed a £1.34bn freezing order on his assets. A separate extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court went into chambers so an application to the court in respect of the case could be considered in private. The press has been banned from reporting any details about the application by a contempt of court order which said: "This order is necessary for avoiding a substantial risk of prejudice to the administration of justice in these proceedings or any other pending or imminent proceedings."

The case is ongoing and was adjourned until the next hearing.

CHARGED: Alevtina Kalashnikova (right) in court in Russia with former VIM CEO Alexander Kochnev who was also charged (RIA Novosti)

Also currently fighting extradition to Russia is former airline boss Alevtina Kalashnikova, 46, Russia claims she stole £2.3 million by fiddling statements at VIM Airlines between 2014 and 2017.

At a hearing in May, Hugo Keith QC, representing Kalashnikova, said she should not be extradited due to poor prison conditions in Russia.

He said: "We rely on evidence from Dr Greene, an expert in political science and a another expert in prisons.

"You will know of the historical difficulty the Russian Federation finds itself in in providing effective and satisfactory assurances to this court with prison monitoring.

"It’s quite possible that by September the Russians are unable to provide any credible assurance at all."

Her case was adjourned.

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