Spain court drops warrant for Putin associate in mafia probe

A Spanish court said on Thursday it has thrown out an international arrest warrant issued for a top Russian lawmaker from President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party as part of a probe into an underworld gang.

Spain court drops warrant for Putin associate in mafia probe
File photo of a man in handcuffs. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP.

 A Spanish judge on January 22nd issued arrest warrants for 12 people, including Vladislav Reznik, a lawmaker with the ruling United Russia party and deputy head of the Russian parliament's lower house finance committee, and his wife Diana Gindin.

The judge is investigating their alleged links to Gennadios Petrov, who was said to head up Russia's notorious Tambov gang from his luxury villa on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

But the National Court, Spain's top criminal court, said in a ruling published on Thursday it has annulled the arrest warrants for the couple because they were cooperating with the enquiry from Russia.

“They are being represented by a lawyer and they have testified by video conference,” the court said in a ruling dated May 18th.

Petrov was arrested at his Spanish villa in 2008, and is suspected of having laundered tens of millions of euros earned through the criminal activities of his gang, which engaged in drug and arms trafficking, robbery and kidnappings.

He is now on the run after having been released on bail.

Among the other top Russian officials who were targeted with arrest warrants in the probe is Igor Sobolevsky, former deputy director of the Investigative Committee of Russia – often described as the equivalent of the FBI.

Also named was Nikolai Aulov, deputy head of Russia's Federal Antinarcotics Service.

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