Viewing cable 06VILNIUS473
Title: DISTRICT COURT OVERTURNS RUSSIAN BANKER BABENKO'S

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06VILNIUS4732006-05-23 12:54:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO4431
RR RUEHAST
DE RUEHVL #0473 1431254
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231254Z MAY 06
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0186
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2420
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS VILNIUS 000473 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958:N/A 
TAGS: PGOV ENRG EFIN KCRM PHUM LH RS
SUBJECT: DISTRICT COURT OVERTURNS RUSSIAN BANKER BABENKO'S 
ASYLUM DECISION 
 
REFTEL:  VILNIUS 355 
 
¶1.  Vilnius District Administrative Court revoked on May 22 
the Migration Department's decision granting Russian banker 
Igor Babenko asylum in Lithuania.  Babenko has seven days to 
appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court.  Barring an 
appeal, the ruling sets the stage for the Vilnius Appeals 
Court to continue hearings on Russia's extradition request 
which had been suspended pending a final ruling on his asylum 
status.  A district court ruled in September 2005 to extradite 
Babenko to Russia where he faces charges for allegedly 
laundering USD 12 million of Yukos-owned Menatep Bank funds. 
 
BACKGROUND CASE HISTORY 
----------------------- 
 
¶2. Lithuanian authorities arrested Babenko in Vilnius on July 
1, 2005, after Russia requested his extradition to pursue an 
investigation of money laundering.  A district court ruled on 
September 28, 2005, to extradite Babenko to Russia, and he 
appealed the decision to the Vilnius Appeals Court.  While 
court proceedings on the extradition were ongoing, the 
Migration Department granted refugee status to Babenko on 
January 30, 2006, and granted him permission to live in 
Lithuania.  The Court of Appeals hearing Babenko's extradition 
case suspended hearings pending the outcome of the Lithuanian 
Prosecutor General's Office appeal of the decision of the 
Migration Department to grant asylum status.  On April 7, a 
Vilnius court extended Babenko's detention for three months 
(reftel). 
 
KELLY