British businessman to fight U.S. extradition for helping oligarch evade sanctions

St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF)
Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska attends the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia June 17, 2022. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

LONDON, Dec 12 (Reuters) - A British businessman accused of conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions placed on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska will fight extradition from Britain at a hearing in May, his lawyers told a London court on Monday.

Graham Bonham-Carter is said by federal prosecutors in Manhattan to have worked for entities controlled by Deripaska, the billionaire founder of aluminium giant Rusal (RUAL.MM), since around 2003.

The U.S. Department of Justice says Bonham-Carter "continued to provide services to and for the benefit of Deripaska in connection with real estate and artwork" in the United States after sanctions were imposed in 2018.

Bonham-Carter, 62, faces one count of conspiring to violate and evade U.S. sanctions, one count of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and one count of wire fraud.

He was arrested in Britain in October and appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday ahead of a full extradition hearing on May 22 and 23, 2023.

His lawyer Gavin Irwin told the court that Bonham-Carter will argue he should not be extradited because of the "insufficient particularity" of the allegations against him.

Bonham-Carter will also argue that he cannot be extradited in relation to alleged breaches of U.S. sanctions as Deripaska was not sanctioned by Britain at the time.

Reporting by Sam Tobin; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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