Italy said Thursday it was seeking to freeze the assets of a Russian arrested in Milan at Washington’s request who disappeared while under house arrest only to re-emerge in Russia.
Justice Minister Carlo Nordio was called to parliament to explain what happened with Artyom Uss, the son of a Siberian governor, Alexander Uss, who was detained in Italy on a US warrant in October.
He went missing from his residence near Milan at the end of March, despite wearing an electronic tracking bracelet, the day after a judge ordered his extradition to the United States.
Washington accuses Uss of taking part in illegal schemes to export US military technology to Russia.
In evidence to MPs, Nordio did not explain how he escaped, saying only that an investigation was underway.
But he said Italy was “checking whether it was possible to insert Mr. Uss in the list of Russian citizens whose assets it is possible to freeze”.
“Let’s see we can at least attack him on his assets,” he added.
The minister also said he had initiated disciplinary proceedings before the Court of Cassation against the magistrates of the Milan appeal court who authorised his transfer from detention to house arrest.
US authorities had warned of the risk that Uss, a well-connected individual with significant financial resources, might flee.
On April 4, Uss announced he was back in Russia, giving no details of how he left.
Uss was one of five Russians arrested on Washington’s request in October for “unlawful schemes to export powerful” US military technology to Russia.
The US Justice Department said some of these had been “discovered on the battlefields of Ukraine“.