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Former Centerra Gold CEO to remain under house arrest in Bulgaria

TORONTO – A Canadian man accused of corruption while he was head of Centerra Gold will stay under house arrest in Bulgaria pending the outcome of his next extradition hearing in about two weeks.

A Bulgarian judge said Thursday that Leonard Homeniuk must remain in a rented apartment in the capital Sofia until the Sept. 16 hearing on whether to send him to Kyrgyzstan to face corruption allegations, which he denies.

Homeniuk, 68, was arrested by Bulgarian authorities on an international arrest warrant from Kyrgyzstan in late July while on a family cruise on the Danube River.

Toronto-based Centerra Gold (TSX:CG) runs the massive Kumtor gold mine in Kyrgyzstan and has been embroiled in contentious negotiations with the government over their revenue-splitting deal.

Homeniuk has said the corruption charges against him are an attempt by Kyrgyz authorities to put pressure on Centerra to sign a more favourable deal.

He said the charges relate to alleged events in 2004, when Centerra Gold took over the Kumtor project.

His original extradition hearing in late August was postponed to give Kyrgyzstan more time to file evidence after a judge found their initial submission insufficient.