Portsmouth F.C.’s Russian owner may appear in London court

Russian billionaire Vladimir Antonov, the owner of England’s Portsmouth football club, may appear before a London court on Friday after being detained at the request of Lithuania on financial crime charges.

Antonov and his Lithuanian business partner Raimondas Baranauskas are both former shareholders in the nationalized Lithuanian bank Snoras, which was seized by authorities in Lithuania on November 16. Both men were put on Europol’s wanted list on Wednesday.

The are expected to be shortly extradited to Lithuania unless they declare that they are being persecuted for political views or their sexual orientation.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said earlier that the authorities began to suspect the two men after the bank was found to have $470 million missing in securities.

Snoras was part of Antonov’s Convers Group, which held 68.1% in the bank while Baranauskas owned 25.3%.

Russia has long been seeking the arrest of several top businessmen currently living in Britain. Russia’s arrest warrant list includes businessman and former Kremlin insider Boris Berezovsky, Yevgeny Chichvarkin, owner of a leading cell phone retailer, and Andrei Borodin, former owner of the Bank of Moscow.


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