“Gross negligence”. The Italian Ministry of Justice has initiated disciplinary proceedings against the Milan Court of Appeal judges, accusing them of “gross and inexcusable negligence” for their decision to place 40-year-old Russian businessman Artem Uss under house arrest (with an electronic ankle tag) on November 25, which likely facilitated his escape.
- According to reports from the newspapers Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica, Justice Minister Carlo Nordio has criticised the three judges – Monica Fagnoni, Micaela Curami and Stefano Caramellino – for their decision to grant Mr Uss house arrest “without taking into consideration” the circumstances indicated by the Milan Public Prosecutor’s Office, which could have led to imprisonment.
- The minister is expected to address the Chamber of Deputies on Thursday in an urgent briefing.
A step back. In March, Mr Uss escaped from house arrest (likely with the help of Russian intelligence and local connections) right after an Italian court had authorised his extradition to the United States
- Washington accused him of alleged illegal trafficking of dual-use civilian and military material, oil smuggling from Venezuela to China and Russia in violation of sanctions, money laundering, and bank fraud.
- On March 21, a court in Milan approved his extradition to the US, where he faced up to 30 years in prison on charges of sanctions evasion and money laundering. However, he managed to escape the following day.