"Russian ex-banker released from custody in U.S."
July 8, 1997
WASHINGTON, August 7 (Itar-Tass) - U.S. law authorities released from custody a former president of the Russian Exchange Bank, Alexander Kononykhin, who is wanted in Russia on charges of stealing depositors' money.
Kononykhin was charged in the U.S. with violation of the immigration law.
He has been released to remain under home arrest, but his charges have been in fact withdrawn.
Although remaining watched, Kononykhin is reviewing his new vistas in the U.S.
He said in an interview with Itar-Tass that his plans are return to a "normal life", continuing education and probably filing a damages suit to redeem his moral injury and privations of custody.
Kononykhin left Russia in 1992. The ex-banker claimed he was forced to flee persecution by "mafia structure connected with the KGB".
The version of Russian authorities is that he simply absconded with stolen money which different estimates put at eight to 300 million dollars.
Kononykhin made his way to the U.S., where he was detained last summer.
The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) opened a deportation case against Kononykhin, on evidence from Russian law enforcers, and won it.
However, Kononykhin appealed and filed a counter-suit accusing his persecutors of evidence rigging and other law breaches.
Court has ruled his release from custody in scrutiny of this suit. The INS's stance suggests that Kononykhin faces no comeback behind the bars. INS spokesman Brian Jordan told Itar-Tass that the INS would not challenge Kononykhin's appeal and would not resume its charges because new circumstances opened in the case.
Copyright 1997 Itar-Tass