Monday, May 14, 2012 -
The Kazakh government has formally requested that Canada extradite fugitive former executive Rustem Tursunbayev to face charges of fraud, counterfeiting, and organized crime in his home country, the National Post reported on Monday.
Tursunbayev is a former vice president of state nuclear firm Kazatomprom, and is believed to have embezzled millions of dollars from the company.
Kazakhstan had formally requested the extradition on a prior date, a fact that emerged during an immigration hearing on Monday in Toronto.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) told an immigration review tribunal that it was unclear whether Kazakhstan had made an extradition request for Tursunbayev, when the CBSA knew that a formal request had been received.
The hearing was held to determine whether Tursunbayev should be released from detention, held since February 10 after being arrested on an immigration warrant. Canadian authorities are concerned Tursunbayev will flee, making it harder for him to face justice in Canada and Kazakhstan.
The detention hearing will continue throughout Monday.
Tursunbayev, 49, is believed to have been inadmissible to Canada due to his alleged links to organized crime in Kazakhstan.
He and his family have lived as Canadian permanent residents since 2009.
Interpol issued a Red Notice for Tursunbayev last August after Kazakh authorities requested an internationally-wanted persons notice for allegedly embezzling around $20 million from the firm.