Bulgarian Court Grants Bail to Former Centerra CEO Homeniuk
A Bulgarian court on Wednesday granted bail to the former CEO of Toronto-based Centerra Gold Leonard Homeniuk, who has been under house arrest in Bulgaria for about two months.
The move came two days after the Vidin Regional Court postponed to October 7 a hearing on a request for Homeniuk’s extradition to Kyrgyzstan submitted by the Kyrgyz authorities.
Homeniuk, a 68-year old dual Canadian and United States citizen, was detained in Bulgaria’s Danube city of Vidin on July 27 on an Interpol Red Notice placed by the Kyrgyz authorities. They claim that the former CEO of Centerra, one of the world's leading gold mining companies, was allegedly involved in shady deals with Kyrgyz officials during a restructuring process at Kumtor, the largest gold mine in Kyrgyzstan, in 2003-2004.
Homeniuk, who has been under house arrest in Sofia awaiting a court hearing on the extradition request, has denied any wrongdoing. He insists that the charges against him are politically motivated.
The Regional Court in Vidin decided on Wednesday that the judicial proceedings have been delayed by the failure of Kyrgyz authorities to submit in due time all the documents the court had asked them to present to back the extradition request and not by any misconduct on part of Homeniuk.
Homeniuk told the court he has shown great respect for the judicial process over the past two months, adding that for him it’s important to see all charges dropped and have his name and the name of his family cleared as soon as possible, according to a statement made available to Novinite. The prosecutor in the case said he backed the request for a more lenient measure of restriction because of Homeniuk’s "impeccable procedural behavior" and his need for special medical care.
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