Public Defender Calls Extradition of Ukrainian Citizen Vadim Altman to Russia Inadmissible

On August 3, 2020, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed the Prosecutor General of Georgia with a proposal not to extradite Vadim Altman, a citizen of the Republic of Ukraine, to the Russian Federation.

Examination of the circumstances of the case revealed that Vadim Altman was involved in various activities against the Russian Federation during the Russo-Ukrainian armed conflict. According to the submitted documents, he is a member of the Odessa Regional Organization of the Organization of Invalids of War, Armed Forces and Participants of Hostilities of All Ukraine. He was also involved in the Ukrainian volunteer groups and played an active role in equipping and supplying the Ukrainian army.

On January 30, 2020, the Prosecutor General's Office of Georgia received a motion from the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation relating to the extradition of Vadim Altman to the Russian Federation. According to the motion, Vadim Altman is charged with various crimes (formation of a criminal organization, drug crime).

According to the Public Defender of Georgia, numerous examples of brutal treatment of those, who spread pro-Ukrainian statements about the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, can be found in the Russian penitentiary system. The cases of Oleg Sentsov and others reviewed in the proposal clearly indicate that there is a reasonable suspicion that in case of Vadim Altman's extradition to Russia, he will be subjected to torture and/or other ill-treatment, which contradicts the Constitution of Georgia and the relevant international obligations.

Accordingly, the Public Defender considers that the Prosecutor General’s Office of Georgia should take into account the above circumstances within the framework of the investigation of the case and should not apply to the court for getting a permit for the extradition.

The Public Defender of Georgia hopes that the Prosecutor General’s Office of Georgia will take into account the mentioned circumstances and will make a decision in accordance with the obligations in the field of human rights.

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