A Supreme Court hearing for the extradition to France of 57-year-old Georgian national Lasha ‘The Fat’ Shushanashvili, alleged to be the head of Russian crime syndicate, was interrupted on Tuesday after the defendant complained of feeling unwell.
Shushanashvili had been wheeled into court on a stretcher under tight security conditions, accompanied by police officers and an ambulance service medic. The latter reported that the defendant was suffering from high blood pressure, while his lawyer Zoi Konstantopoulou said her client faced serious health problems and asked that the hearing be postponed.
The court decided to adjourn the proceedings until July 20 and the defendant was taken to Nikaia General Hospital.
The 57-year-old was arrested in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki in April during a joint European police operation held simultaneously in France and Greece. He had been imprisoned before that time and was released in 2015 for health reasons but apparently resumed criminal activity, organising thefts and burglaries from which his gang allegedly earned roughly one million euros.
French authorities consider him the leader of a crime syndicate involved in thefts and the ‘fencing’ of stolen goods.
Thessaloniki Appeals Court Justices agreed to his extradition to France provided he is then transferred back to Greece, where he faces other charges.
Another 13 individuals – 11 of them Georgian nationals – were arrested with Shushanashvili, two of which also face possible extradition.