Hungary refuses to extradite suspected Russian arms dealers to US

Hungary refused to extradite to the US two Russian citizens suspected of arms dealing, the US State Department reported on Tuesday.

The Russians in question are Vladimir Lyubishin Sr. and Vladimir Lyubishin Jr., who were sent by Hungary back to Russia, where it is “unclear if they will face trial”.

“The United States is disappointed in the Hungarian government’s decision to extradite the Lyubishins to Russia,” the State Department spokesperson said, emphasizing that the decision is at odds with US-Hungarian law enforcement collaboration, and undermines their cooperative work.

The Hungarian website Direkt36, which specializes in investigations, reported that the Russians were arrested in Hungary in 2016. They were captured by a Hungarian counter-terrorist division as part of an international operation coordinated by the US Drug Enforcement Administration. The Russians are believed to have been planning to sell a large batch of weapons to Mexican drug cartels. According to their attorney Robert Friedman, the Lyubishins claim they were unaware that they were selling the weapons to a drug cartel. Friedman says that the two suspects are currently in a pre-trial detention center in Moscow.

  Hungary, Russia, Europe

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