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Ukraine businessman, Indian official charged in US corruption case

Source: Reuters - Wed, 2 Apr 2014 16:12 GMT
Author: Reuters
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In this 2010 file photo, Dmytro Firtash, one of Ukraine's richest men, is seen in Kiev REUTERS/Maks Levin
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WASHINGTON, April 2 (Reuters) - Ukrainian industrialist Dmitry Firtash, a member of India's parliament, and four others were indicted by a U.S. grand jury for their suspected role in an international corruption scheme, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday.

The indictment, which was returned under seal in June 2013, was made public on Wednesday, a few weeks after prosecutors said they planned to ask Austria to extradite Firtash.

Firtash, who is one of Ukraine's most influential oligarchs, Indian lawmaker K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao, and the other defendants participated in a scheme to bribe Indian government officials in order to gain access to minerals used to make titanium-based products, prosecutors said.

U.S. prosecutors said they have jurisdiction over the case because the defendants used U.S. financial institutions to transfer the bribes and because the defendants had planned to sell the titanium products to an unnamed American company based in Chicago.

Some of the defendants were also charged with violating the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars bribes to officials of foreign governments in exchange for business.

Firtash, whose first name is also spelled "Dmytro," was arrested in Vienna last month and was released from custody after posting 125 million euros ($172.10 million) bail. ($1 = 0.7263 euros)

(Reporting by Aruna Viswanatha; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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