Russia to extradite Hollywood producer to Armenia

Stepan Martirosyan, the executive producer of several Hollywood blockbusters, who was detained in late 2017 at Domodedovo airport, will be extradited to Armenia, which arrested him in absentia six months ago and put him on the wanted list, Russian Kommersant reports.

The decision was taken by Moscow City Court and the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation in response to a request from Armenian counterparts.

At home, Martirosyan is charged with a crime punishable under Article 178 of the Criminal Code of Armenia (Swindling).

The Armenian Prosecutor General’s Office initiated the criminal case against Stepan Martirosyan in September 2017. According to the investigation, the producer did Armbusinessbank owner Vitaly Grigoryants out of $50 million, promising him profitable investments in the cinema business.

Kommersant notes that US-based Stepan Martirosyan participated as an executive producer in the creation of films such as Lone Survivor and Broken City, starring Mark Wahlberg, The Frozen Ground, End of Watch and Escape Plan, featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Jake Gyllenhaal.

In total, from 2011 to 2013 banker Vitaly Grigoryants invested $97 million in the production of Hollywood films through Martirosyan. Martirosyan himself says that the investments were not justified, as the movies turned out to be commercially unviable and the release failed. However, Grigoryants found out through the lawyers that the partner kept $50 million to himself.

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