24 February 2024
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Italian prosecutors on Tuesday issued five arrest warrants for people accused of helping a Russian detained at Washington’s request escape Milan and return to Russia.

The warrants were being executed in Brescia in northern Italy, Slovenia and Croatia, by Italian police in cooperation with criminal justice cooperation agency Eurojust and US authorities, Milan prosecutor Marcello Viola said in a statement.

Prosecutors also issued a warrant for the Russian in question, Artyom Uss, who escaped house arrest at the end of March, despite wearing an electronic tracking bracelet.

Washington accuses Uss of taking part in illegal schemes to export US military technology to Russia.

The US Justice Department said some of these had been “discovered on the battlefields of Ukraine”.

Investigators discovered four cars had been involved in smuggling Uss out of Milan and over the border into Slovenia, after months of planning, Viola said.

The five warrants were for two Bosnians, one Slovenian and two Serbians, Italian media reported.

Eurojust did not immediately reply to a request for information.

The State Department on Tuesday announced a reward of up to $7 million for information leading to Uss’s arrest or conviction.

Uss went missing the day after a judge ordered his extradition to the United States.

The US authorities had warned of the risk that Uss, a well-connected individual with significant financial resources, might flee. In April, Uss announced he was back in Russia.

Abdul Gh Lone