FORMER Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov is in hospital in Russia under armed guard as he prepares for a court appearance, it has been revealed.
The Scotsman reported on Wednesday that Mr Romanov, 67, had been arrested in Moscow on Monday before being released, sparking fury in his adopted homeland of Lithuania and prompting the country’s president, Dalia Grybauskaitė, to accuse Russia of flouting international law.
But Mr Romanov’s lawyer, Adomas Liutvinskas, confirmed last night that the tycoon was due to appear in court today, and that he was under armed guard in a hospital in the Russian capital.
And he claimed the former Tynecastle chief had been taken to hospital after suffering health problems relating to an underlying heart condition as a result of his arrest on Monday.
Mr Romanov is being held in Moscow over a Lithuanian-issued demand for his extradition over allegations he embezzled over £12 million during his time as the chief of Ukio Bankas. Although Mr Liutvinskas confirmed that a court appearance had been set for today, he had admitted to some confusion surrounding Monday’s events, telling Lithuanian media earlier this week that it was ‘unclear’ what had happened because he wasn’t in Moscow at the time.
The lawyer said that his client was ‘already feeling better’, and confirmed that he would be opposing Mr Romanov’s extradition to Romania as well as any bid to keep him in custody while the case is being considered.
Mr Liutvinskas added: “First a decision on whether or not to detain him will be made - and then on his extradition.”