SOFIA, Bulgaria – A Bulgarian court has refused a request from Moscow to extradite an opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, arguing that he could suffer because of his political activities and views.
Nikolai Koblyakov, a dual citizen of Russia and France and founder of a non-governmental organization which has staged a series of anti-Putin actions in France, was detained on July 29 at the Sofia airport on an Interpol warrant issued at Russia's request.
The Sofia City Court ruled on Tuesday that explanations provided from Russian officials about Nikolai Koblyakov's alleged criminal activity were not sufficient for them to hand him over to Moscow.
Officials in Moscow had alleged that Koblyakov was involved in large-scale property fraud nearly ten years ago. Koblyakov has rejected these allegations as being politically motivated.