The Italian authorities have arrested two individuals allegedly complicit in the escape of Artem Uss, the son of Alexander Uss, former governor of Russia's Krasnoyarsk Territory. As Fatto Quotidiano reports, one was detained in Desenzano, Italy, while the other had been in Croatia.
The detainees, Vladimir and Boris Jovancic, are a father and son of Bosnian origin. Jovancic Sr. is being charged with obstruction of justice and accessory to escape from custody. According to the investigators, Jovancic Jr. owned the Volvo V60 that Uss used to enter Italy.
Other accomplices in Uss’ escape are still wanted in the Balkans and Slovenia.
The arrest operation was sanctioned by a Milanese judge at the request of the prosecutor's office. All six suspects are wanted for offenses related to Uss’ escape and attempted escape aggravated by the transnational nature of their crimes.
Shortly before these developments, the U.S. Department of State announced a reward of $7 million for information that would lead to Uss’ arrest or detention.
The Italian authorities had arrested Uss last October at the United States’ request on the charges of smuggling oil, illegal export of military technology, and money laundering. In March, a Milanese court granted a request for his extradition, but he escaped from under house arrest a few days later. The U.S. authorities asked the Italian Ministry of Justice to keep Uss under custody, indicating that six individuals whose extradition from Italy the U.S. had requested earlier, had also escaped from house arrest. The Ministry of Justice replied that Uss’ pre-trial restrictions were up to the judge.
In April, the Italian Minister of Justice Carlo Nordio initiated disciplinary proceedings against the judges of the Milan Court of Appeal who'd placed Uss under house arrest. The judges’ trade union criticized his decision and threatened to launch a strike.
Early in April, the Krasnoyarsk governor's press service announced his son's return to Russia. Subsequently, Alexander Uss released a video address, thanking everyone who’d supported his son, in particular Vladimir Putin. On April 20, Governor Uss announced his resignation, citing an “offer to continue his work on the federal level” as the reason.
In May, the media covered the case in more detail: according to WSJ, Uss managed to escape from under arrest in Italy “with the help of a Serbian organized crime group.”