Antonov faces court date

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AN extradition hearing for the Russian former owner of Pompey is to go ahead next year, a court has heard.

Vladimir Antonov, 37, is subject to an extradition warrant issued by the Lithuanian authorities in connection with an alleged multi-million-pound fraud at a bank he formerly controlled.

His case is expected to be heard at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on January 21.

District Judge John Zani granted his lawyers more time to present the evidence of expert witnesses after hearing that a restraining order on Antonov’s funds has hindered their payment.

James Lewis QC, representing Antonov, told the court: ‘We anticipate that the timing of the full hearing will not be affected by this.’ Antonov bought Pompey in June last year but was forced to stand down as chairman in November when his Convers Sports Initiatives company went into administration.

Lithuanian prosecutors issued a European arrest warrant for Antonov and his Lithuanian business partner Raimondas Baranauskas in November after naming them as the main suspects in a pre-trial investigation into how hundreds of millions of pounds in assets were allegedly stripped from Snoras Bank.

Antonov, charged with misappropriation and forging documents to cover up his alleged theft, denies any dishonesty in his dealings regarding the bank.