Final Word from Tuesday, February 16, 2016

To get a better idea of what transpired in Prague in the case of Ali Fayad, it's useful to consider the case of Dmytro Firtash. He's a Ukrainian oligarch with close ties to the Kremlin and to Viktor Yanukovich. As a co-owner of RosUkrEnergo, he had a monopoly on Russian imports of natural gas into Ukraine. By all accounts, he is a really bigwig in Ukraine business and politics. On the same day that Arseniy Yatsenyuk visited the White House in Feb. 2014, Firtash was arrested in Austria on a U.S. warrant. The charge was conspiracy to commit bribery in India. A Ukraine citizen was arrested in Austria on a U.S. warrant for a crime allegedly committed in India. That's called extraterritorial jurisdiction. Unlike in the Fayad case, the Austrian justice minister couldn't intervene, and a court denied extradition, finding that the charges were politically motivated. According to some reports, the U.S. was trying to coerce Firtash into squealing on Putin. [Czech Republic Gazprom prime minister Dmitro United States]

Glossary of difficult words

to transpire - to occur; to happen;

bigwig - an important person, usually in a particular sphere;

extraterritorial - (of a law or decree) valid outside a country's territory;

to coerce - to persuade (an unwilling person) to do something by using force or threats;

to squeal on someone - to inform on the activities of someone to the police or a person in authority.

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