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Court Approves Extradition of Austrian Bank Chief to US for Money Laundering Conspiracy Charge

Peter Weinzierl, the former chief executive of Meinl Bank (later renamed Anglo Austrian AAB Bank), has been approved for extradition to the United States by a London court.

Court Approves Extradition of Austrian Bank Chief to US for Money Laundering Conspiracy Charge

The decision is related to his alleged involvement in a bribery and money laundering conspiracy with Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. The scheme involved the utilization of slush funds to bribe public officials, with Weinzierl being accused of assisting in the laundering of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Weinzierl, a 57-year-old Austrian national, vehemently denies the allegations and fought against his extradition on various grounds. One argument presented was that he was "lured" to Britain in May 2021 by an alleged U.S. law enforcement agent who intended to arrest him. However, Judge Paul Goldspring dismissed this claim in a written ruling, stating that Weinzierl had not been lured to the country.

Following the court's ruling, Weinzierl's lawyer, David Pack, released a statement expressing their intention to appeal the decision. Pack criticized the ruling, describing it as "just another example of the UK courts buckling to the U.S. authorities abusing this country's extradition laws."

The charges against Weinzierl stem from his alleged participation in a massive fraud and bribery scheme involving Odebrecht, which recently changed its name to Novonor SA. Odebrecht admitted to bribing governments across Latin America in order to expand its construction empire. In 2016, Odebrecht and its parent company, Braskem (Brazil's largest petrochemicals company), agreed to pay a settlement of at least $3.5 billion to resolve bribery-related charges brought by regulators in the United States, Brazil, and Switzerland.



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