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Canadian former CEO free to leave Bulgaria; Kyrgyzstan fails to appeal extradition ruling

SOFIA, Bulgaria – Canadian former mining CEO Len Homeniuk is free to leave Bulgaria after time expired on Kyrgyzstan’s chance to appeal its failed bid to have him extradited.

The former head of Toronto-based miner Centerra Gold (TSX:CG) was detained for more than two months by Bulgarian authorities before he was freed by a judge on Oct. 7.

The Bulgarian court found the Kyrgyz government didn’t provide enough evidence for the handover and gave Kyrgyzstan seven days to appeal as it set Homeniuk free.

Homeniuk was detained after Kyrgyzstan issued an Interpol red notice, saying he was wanted on corruption charges.

Homeniuk had described the charges are completely baseless and an attempt to pressure his former company into signing a new revenue-sharing deal with the Kyrgyz government for the massive Kumtor gold mine, which forms a cornerstone of the country’s economy.

Homeniuk’s wife, Marina Stephens, said in an email that the couple was waiting to hear back from Interpol about getting the red notice cancelled and that they intended to return to their home in California on Oct. 21.

“We am extremely happy that this ordeal has come to the end,” she said.

Homeniuk was CEO of Centerra Gold from 2004 to 2008.