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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bykov's Request Rejected by Hungary

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- A Budapest municipal court Tuesday rejected an asylum or refugee status request from fugitive Russian businessman Anatoly Bykov, clearing his way for a top level ruling on his extradition.

"Bykov claimed he was a victim of political persecution,'' after falling out with Alexander Lebed, the governor of Krasnoyarsk region, Judge Zsuzsa Sandor told state radio.

"He said that after his relationship with Lebed turned sour, Lebed had threatened him. However, we have failed to turn up evidence that there was any link between Bykov's problems in Russia and the proceedings taken against him by Russian authorities,'' Sandor said.

The ruling opens the way for a Justice Ministry decision on Russia's extradition request for Bykov. Hungarian authorities arrested Bykov on an international warrant Oct. 29, while he was entering the country from Yugoslavia.