Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gusinsky Becomes a Spaniard

Former media magnate Vladimir Gusinsky has received Spanish citizenship, allowing him to travel throughout the European Union without fearing arrest at Russia's request.

Spanish ministers granted citizenship at a Cabinet meeting Friday after Gusinsky appealed on the basis that his mother was a descendant of Sephardi Jews banished from Spain in 1492, the El Mundo newspaper reported. Madrid has a policy of offering citizenship in such cases.

The new passport means that Gusinsky, 54, cannot be detained at Moscow's request in the EU because Spain does not allow its citizens to be extradited.

The Prosecutor General's Office declined to comment on the latest development Monday. Gusinsky is wanted on fraud charges in an investigation widely seen as punishment for critical coverage of Putin on the NTV network, once part of his Media-MOST empire.

Prosecutors unsuccessfully tried to extradite Gusinsky from Spain in 2001 and Greece in 2003.

El Mundo said Israeli authorities had also lobbied for Gusinsky, who has lived in Israel and holds an Israeli passport. "Israel's intercession on Gusinsky's behalf reached the Zarzuela Palace, and the government hopes this will not affect [President Vladimir] Putin too much," the newspaper said.