June 25 (UPI) -- The Austrian Supreme Court will allow billionaire businessman Dmytro Firtash to be extradited to the United States, where he could face bribery charges and as many as 50 years in prison.
The Ukrainian oligarch is accused of paying $18.5 million to Indian officials for mining titanium ore and then selling it to the United States. He was arrested in Vienna in 2014 but later released from custody after posting a record bond amount.
In 2015, a Vienna Regional Court denied the U.S. request for extradition. The court ruled Tuesday that Firtash, 54, would be extradited.
If found guilty, all Firtash's property would be seized.
Firtash has denied wrongdoing, including U.S. accusations that he formed an organized crime group. He said the case is politically motivated.
"We are disappointed in today's decision," Firtash attorneys Dan Webb and Lanny Davis said in a joint statement. "In any event, nothing has changed regarding Mr. Firtash's innocence and the absence of evidence that he is guilty of any crime.
"He has never done business in the United States, never visited the United States, and had no knowledge of any plan to bribe Indian officials. ... U.S. prosecutors never charged Mr. Firtash -- or anyone -- with even paying a bribe."
Firtash, one of Ukraine's wealthiest men, made his fortune in the nation's natural gas industry.