Herald Sun on April 4, 2013 released the following:
Emily Portelli From: Herald Sun
“INTERNATIONAL fugitive Richard Chichakli, arrested in Melbourne after applying to become a protective services officer, has asked to be sent back to the US to face charges linking him to a Russian arms dealer.
“I consent to the extradition and ask the court to kindly send me home to the United States as soon as possible,” the Syrian-born US citizen said today via video link at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.
“I thank Australia for its hospitality, I just need to go home.”
The alleged associate of war criminal Viktor Bout arrived in Australia in June 2010 on a false Syrian passport and left and returned to Australia six times before his arrest in January.
The 53-year-old was living in Melbourne’s north and was arrested after his fingerprints were matched to an Interpol alert when he applied for a job as a PSO.
He had already passed Victoria Police psychological and fitness screening.
The US sought to extradite Mr Chichakli to New York to face charges relating to his alleged conspiracy with Bout to purchase planes to transport arms to international conflict zones.
Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg told Mr Chichakli he was facing charges of conspiracy to violate the International Economic Emergency Powers Act, conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and six wire fraud offences.
“Of course I deny all of them but that is for a United States court to try,” Mr Chichakli said.
“I am ready for extradition, sir.”
Mr Rozencwajg told him he would send a letter this afternoon to the Attorney-General, who would then likely order his surrender to the US.
Bout, who is currently serving 25 years on US terror charges, inspired the character played by Nicholas Cage in 2005 war film Lord of War.
It is alleged the pair provided arms to former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, who was last year sentenced to 50 years’ jail for war crimes.
Mr Chichakli had been on the run from American authorities since 2005.”
Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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