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French court refuses to surrender US art dealer to Poland

PARIS — A lawyer for a New York art dealer says his client is back in the United States after a French court ruled against surrendering him to Poland.

Jean-Jacques Neuer said Monday that the Court of Appeals in Paris ruled against Poland’s request for the return of Alexander Khochinskiy.

Khochinskiy was arrested in February at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport based on a European Union-wide warrant from Poland.

Neur called the appeals court’s decision “extremely rare” within the EU.

Poland accuses Khochinskiy of holding an 18th-century painting by French artist Antoine Pense that the Nazis stole from a Polish museum during World War II.

The Russian-born American citizen says he inherited “Girl With a Dove” in 1991 and only learned Poland wanted it in 2010.

The United States refused to extradite him in 2015.

The Associated Press