France refuses extradition of Russian activist Koblyakov

4th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

French judges have rejected a request from Russia for the extradition of Nikolay Koblyakov, an activist and opponent of President Vladimir Putin, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Koblyakov, a joint French and Russian citizen, is one of the leaders of "Russia-Freedom", a group which has organised several protests against Putin in France.

It has also published reports on corruption among the Russian elite.

Moscow demanded his extradition, accusing him of falsifying signatures on documents in 2004.

But a Paris court ruled that any infringements by Koblyakov were only committed in France.

"This decision gives me courage to continue to fight for the promotion of freedom in Russia," Koblyakov told AFP.

The activist has been released from any form of detention in France and "no longer faces any risk on the French territory. The case is closed," said his lawyer Kamalia Mehtiyeva.

In July 2014, Koblyakov was arrested in Bulgaria on an Interpol arrest warrant requested by Russia.

The Bulgarian authorities refused his extradition, saying insufficient information had been presented by Russia.

© 2015 AFP

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