Estonian Man to Be Extradited to U.S.

TALLINN, Estonia -- An Estonian man suspected of embezzling money from a U.S.-based program to rebuild Iraq will be extradited to the United States, Estonia said Thursday.

Marko Rudi, 33, is suspected of misusing over $1 million of U.S. funds designated for the reconstruction of Iraq from 2003 to 2005, said Imbi Markus, a Justice Ministry spokeswoman.

Rudi is a former employee of the North Carolina-based Research Triangle Institute, a nonprofit organization that was awarded contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars through the U.S. Agency of International Development to help rebuild Iraq.

Rudi oversaw budgeting for some of RTI's projects in Iraq, according to reports in Estonian media.

Following a request from the U.S. Justice Department, Estonian authorities arrested Rudi in September, Markus said.

He faces charges of fraud and computer fraud, according to the Justice Ministry.