German police arrest Ukrainian banker at Berlin airport

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 17, 2015 7:53 AM

BERLIN (Reuters) - German police arrested Ukrainian banker Borys Tymonkin at Berlin-Schoenefeld airport based on an international arrest warrant but authorities have not made a final decision on his extradition, a German state prosecutor said on Wednesday.

The Ukrainian government placed Tymonkin, one of the country's most prominent bankers, on its wanted list in April 2014 in connection with a criminal case launched against businessman Serhiy Kurchenko.

Tymonkin managed the banking arm of the conglomerate owned by Kurchenko from July 2013. Ukraine has accused Kurchenko of financial crimes, including stealing state money.

Both Tymonkin and Kurchenko have denied any wrongdoing.

Tymonkin, 63, was arrested on Sunday and is now in custody at a prison in the east German town of Cottbus and officials are preparing his extradition, senior public prosecutor Juergen Suelldorf told Reuters.

However, the German government has yet to make a final decision on his extradition, a spokesman for Brandenburg's state ministry of justice said.

Tymonkin's career has seen him head up banks owned by allies of former Ukrainian presidents Viktor Yanukovich and Leonid Kuchma.

German daily Bild said Tymonkin had flown in from Istanbul when he was arrested by federal police at the Berlin airport.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber, additional reporting by Natalia Zinets in Kiev; Editing by Gareth Jones)