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Poland to extradite former associate of Alan Bond wanted for embezzlement

Poland will extradite a former associate of Alan Bond wanted in Australia for allegedly embezzling millions of dollars, Gazeta Wyborcza reported. Australia originally requested the extradition of Tony Oates, 61, in 1996 for his alleged role in one of Australia's biggest corporate scandals, the embezzlement of 1.2 billion Australian dollars by tycoon Bond in the late 1980s.

A Polish court had authorised the businessman's extradition in August 2000, but that ruling was appealed. The decision on Thursday exhausts the appeals process. "The minister of justice has agreed to the extradition," said Gdansk Chief Investigating Magistrate Jozef Fedosiuk, adding that Oates would be handed over to Australian authorities "probably on Friday". Bond himself was released from prison in March 2000 after serving more than three years for illegally transferring more than a billion Australian dollars from Perth-based company Bell Resources to his troubled Bond Corp.

A former Bond Corp director, Oates was arrested in Gdansk in October 1996 and released on bail seven months later. Oates worked in Poland as a consultant for two big Polish breweries -- Elbrewery in Elblag and Hevelius in Gdansk.

(NewsBase 23.vi.03)

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