London court reschedules hearing in Snoras case
- Snoras Bank's ex-major shareholder Antonov denies embezzlement charges
- British court seizes assets of former Snoras bank shareholder
- Russian businessman extradition hearing in London postponed
- London court to consider extradition of Russian businessman
- Russian, Lithuanian businessmen extradition hearing postponed until spring
LONDON, July 6 - RAPSI. The Westminster Magistrates Court in London has once again postponed its hearing in the extradition of businessmen Vladimir Antonov and Raimondas Baranauskas, who have been charged with defrauding the Lithuanian Snoras bank.
The postponement was made after another European arrest warranty was issued for the suspects.
The preliminary hearing focused on the schedule of the new court sessions.
The next hearing will be held on July 27.
The bail conditions have been left intact. The businessmen do not have to appear in court that day, and their bail will be automatically extended for the necessary period.
On November 16, 2011, the Lithuanian government decided to nationalize Snoras to rescue the bank from bankruptcy. The formal reason for the bank's nationalization was its failure to meet the watchdog's request for certain information in addition to its poor financial state. Snoras then suspended its operations.
In November 2011, the Bank of Lithuania acknowledged that even a federal funds injection would not save the bank and decided to shut it down. The court declared Snoras bankrupt on December 7. The decision came into force on December 20, 2011.
Both major Snoras shareholders - Russian citizen Antonov and his Lithuanian partner Baranauskas - have been suspected of misappropriating the bank's assets and financial fraud. They were arrested in London in late November upon the Lithuanian Prosecutor General's Office's request. They were later released on bail.
A UK court has frozen Antonov's assets worth 493 million euro upon the Snoras bankruptcy administrator's request.
Antonov was unable to explain the disappearance of 4 billion litas (1.158 billion euro) from the bank.
Snoras was part of Antonov's Convers Group.
The Convers Group held 68.10 percent of shares in the bank and another 25.3 percent were held by Baranauskas. The government nationalized the bank in November 2011 after it was suspected of illegal transactions.