Russian banker trying to escape Russian justice

Alexander Konanykhin, a Russian banker who was stripped of his political refugee status on November 20, has contested this decision of a district court.

The appeal will start to be considered no earlier than in 3 months when the court has received all the required legal documents, according to Mr Konanykhin. The ruling of the Board of Immigration Appeals, saying that Mr Konanykhin must leave the United States in 30 days' time or be deported to Russia otherwise, was therefore suspended.

In 1994 in Russia, Mr Konanykhin was charged with plundering $8 million of All-Russian Exchange Bank funds. Mr Konanykhin was the founder of the bank. Two years earlier the banker had settled in the US, in his words, trying to escape persecution from the former KGB officers who worked in his bank. In 1996, he was arrested in Washington for visa regime violation and spent 13 months in prison. In February 1999, Mr Konanykhin received political refugee status.

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