12 March 2024

Statement by Dan K. Webb and Matthew R. Carter of Winston & Strawn LLP, Counsel for Dmitry Firtash

CHICAGO – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Today, March 12, 2024, marks a decade since Dmitry Firtash, a Ukrainian national, was arrested in Vienna, Austria at the request of the United States government – all based on a 2013 indictment out of Chicago related to a project in India that allegedly began in 2005 and never went forward. The U.S. government requested that Austrian authorities arrest Firtash and extradite him to the U.S. even though Firtash had never stepped foot in the U.S., doesn’t speak English, and hadn’t done any business in the U.S. The U.S. government has thus forced Firtash to spend the last ten years in Austria – without the ability to leave – exercising his legal right to contest extradition to a country he’s never even visited.


Since his arrest, Firtash has twice prevailed before Austrian courts despite U.S. efforts to extradite him. The Austrian trial court found no basis for the U.S. allegations against Firtash, denying extradition in 2015. After years of appeals, the Austrian appellate court reopened the extradition proceedings against Firtash to start all over again in 2023 – finding that the evidence warranted reopening the case to determine whether the U.S. government’s request to extradite Firtash is and was improperly motivated by politics.


In the strongest of terms, Firtash has consistently maintained his innocence in this objectively curious and old case which has no legitimate connection to the U.S. or Chicago. For example, the case includes five other foreign national defendants whom the U.S. government indicted on the same charges but has never seriously tried to extradite to the U.S. And while the allegations in the indictment claim to relate to a project that was to take place wholly in India starting almost twenty years ago, Indian authorities have never brought charges against anyone in relation to the project, even quashing any attempt to detain one of Firtash’s alleged Indian national co-defendants in a court order issued on April 28, 2014, by the High Court of Judicature of Andhra Pradesh at Hyderabad.


It is well past time for the U.S. government to reevaluate the strength of this stale case and recognize what both the Austrian courts and Indian authorities have long recognized – the evidence (which we have continued to develop and has strengthened Firtash’s position over the last ten years) shows that the case against Firtash has no merit and there is no basis to force Firtash to the U.S.


Today, Firtash begins his eleventh year effectively confined and under arrest by the U.S. government. The U.S. government has thus cost Firtash irreplaceable time with his family (including his wife and children), seriously impacted his hard-earned businesses, and constrained his ability to assist Ukraine in its time of war. Enough is enough – the U.S. government should dismiss this case and allow Firtash the freedom it has already cost him for the last ten years.