Francesco Becchetti: Leyton Orient president faces possible extradition

By Rob StevensBBC Sport
Francesco Becchetti
Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti bought Leyton Orient from Barry Hearn in summer 2014

Leyton Orient president Francesco Becchetti faces the possibility of extradition to Albania after being arrested by the Metropolitan Police.

The 49-year-old was bailed on 26 October after handing over his travel documents to the police.

In June, the Albanian government issued an arrest warrant for the Italian on charges of fraud and money-laundering.

Becchetti denies all the charges and says they will have "no impact" on his responsibilities at Orient.

He described the charges, which relate to a failed hydroelectric scheme which allegedly cost the Albanian government tens of millions of euros, as "demonstrably groundless, improperly motivated and unsupported by any evidence".

The Italian had assets in the Balkan country seized by the Albanian government in the summer, including shares in the Agon Channel, his television station.

Becchetti, who bought the east London club from Barry Hearn in summer 2014, is due to appear in court again on 7 December, when a procedural hearing will take place to look into Albania's extradition request.

A statement issued on behalf of Becchetti said his lawyers "believe his case is extremely robust" and that he "continues to work very hard to reinvigorate Leyton Orient".

The Football League told BBC Sport they were monitoring the situation.

Francesco Becchetti at Leyton Orient
Bought the club from Barry Hearn in summer 2014, although Hearn still owns the club's Matchroom Stadium
The O's had four different managers last season as they were relegated to League Two
Becchetti's Albanian television station, the Agon Channel, broadcast a reality series about Leyton Orient during 2014-15, in which Italian players attempted to win a contract at the east London club

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