Family of former Centerra Gold CEO fears he will be ‘kidnapped’ to Kyrgyzstan – by Drew Hasselback (National Post – August 26, 2015)

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The family of former Centerra Gold chief executive Len Homeniuk says he has been re-arrested in Bulgaria and fears he may be spirited away to Kyrgyzstan.

Homeniuk, who last week spoke with the Financial Post, spent 11 days in prison after he was arrested on July 27 in the Bulgarian town of Vidin, near the border of Romania. He was later transferred to house detention in a small apartment in the capital, Sofia.

Family members now say Homeniuk was re-arrested at that apartment at 9:30 local time Monday night, then whisked back to Vidin on Tuesday.

It’s the latest twist in a saga in which the former mining executive, who holds dual U.S.-Canadian citizenship, seems to be a pawn in on-going talks over the fate of a gold mine in Kyrgyzstan, a rugged Central Asian republic located along the Silk Road.

Marina Stephens, Homeniuk’s wife, was with him when the police came Monday night, and was able to visit him at the police station a short while later. She returned early Tuesday to visit him at the police station, but was told he had already been moved to Vidin.

Stephens believes her husband will face a rapid-fire extradition hearing, perhaps as early as Wednesday, then be immediately extradited to the Kyrgyz Republic. She has been told representatives from both the U.S. and Canadian embassies will try to attend legal hearings in Vidin. But she fears they may not make it in time.

“It’s very possible they’re going to hold this before anyone gets a chance to arrive there,” she said in a phone interview from Bulgaria on Tuesday. “I fully expect now that despite the efforts of the U.S. embassy, despite any kind of rationale or reason or legality, that Len is going to be extradited to Kyrgyzstan by the Bulgarians.”

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