A Russian man accused of murdering 60 people has avoided being extradited from Austria for the third time after he recently developed "a rare form of aerophobia".
Aslan Gagiev, known as Djako, avoided the third court order for his extradition when he was taken off a Russia-bound flight. The deportation had been approved by the Vienna High Court and the head of the Austrian Minister of Justice, The Independent reported.
Gagiev was arrested in Vienna in January 2015 after Austrian authorities were tipped off by their Russian counterparts. He was released on bail set at 100,000 euros (£88,612) but then arrested at the Austrian-Bulgarian border after attempting to use a fake Bulgarian passport.
According to the Independent, Gagiev is suspected of being the mastermind behind one of Russia's most brutal crime groups. Russian daily Kommersant reported that Gagiev is believed to be involved in the murders of officials, bankers, businessmen and law enforcers.
Gagiev's lawyers claimed with a medical certificate that he developed "a rare form of aerophobia, in which the accused simply cannot survive the flight to Russia," Kommersant reported.
His lawyers also said they will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights if the existing Russian extradition order is supported by the Supreme Court of Justice.
According to Kommersant, Russia's investigative community is optimistic that Gagiev will be imprisoned in Russia by January.