Russia on Wednesday launched legal moves to secure the extradition from Italy of a top manager at a state aerospace corporation who faces US charges of conspiracy to steal trade secrets.
A Moscow court declared Alexander Korshunov, a top manager at state-owned United Engine Corporation, under arrest in absentia for fraud.
"Now Russia can seek his extradition," wrote Vedomosti business daily. It quoted two defence industry sources saying the Russian measure was to protect Korshunov from extradition to the US, where he could face up to 10 years in prison.
The US Justice Department said in September that Korshunov along with an Italian aerospace expert had been charged with conspiracy to steal and attempted theft of jet engine technology from leading American manufacturer GE Aviation, a subsidiary of General Electric.
United Engine Corporation is a conglomerate of civilian and military aircraft makers. It is part of Rostec umbrella corporation.
Korshunov is listed as business development manager on its website.
The US charges relate to the hiring of current or former staff from a GE Aviation subsidiary to consult on designing engines, according to statements by the US Justice Department.
Korshunov was arrested on August 30 at Naples airport on the request of the US.
The Italian charged with him, Maurizio Paolo Bianchi, was arrested on October 2. The US Department of Justice said Korshunov had previously worked for the Russian Foreign Ministry.
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