PARIS, JULY 19 -- Adnan Khashoggi, the high-rolling Saudi businessman and arms trader who helped finance the Iran-contra deal, was extradited from Switzerland to the United States today to face trial on multimillion-dollar fraud charges. The Swiss Justice Department announced that Khashoggi, a former billionaire famous for sybaritic living, dropped appeal proceedings and agreed to extradition after spending three months in an austere prison in Bern. Authorities said Swiss law made release on bail there nearly impossible during an appeal process that would have gone on for months. Khashoggi, 53, has been sought in New York since March in connection with what prosecutors said was a key role in shady financial operations by former Filipino president Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda, to hold on to a large fortune allegedly sneaked out when they fled the Philippines three years ago after their regime collapsed. The Saudi financier was arrested April 18 in Bern on a U.S. request. He had vowed to fight extradition to the last appeal, but Swiss authorities said in a communique that he suddenly told a judge last week he was willing to go to New York after all. During his incarceration in Bern, Khashoggi had meals delivered from the restaurant of a nearby luxury hotel and was allowed to receive business letters and telex and fax messages. But his standard eight-meter-square cell was a far cry from the sleek yacht, personal jetliner and villa in Marbella, Spain, that had been Khashoggi's high-living trademarks until recent financial reversals forced a cutback. Accompanied by two Swiss policemen, he took a regular Swissair flight from Zurich in first class and paid all three fares to New York, where he arrived Wednesday afternoon and was immediately handcuffed and taken into custody. In court later, he was ordered to jail for at least one night as lawyers argued over whether he ought to be freed on bond pending trial. Prosecutors maintained that Khashoggi might flee since even the highest bail would mean nothing to him, while Khashoggi's attorney contended that the only thing that brought his client to New York in the first place was his desire to face the charges. One of Khashoggi's lawyers had asked for a guarantee on the bail issue 10 days ago, but U.S. District Judge John F. Keenan reserved his decision, according to news agency reports from New York. "We have no indication why he changed his mind," said Joerg Kistler, the Justice Department spokesman in Bern. "But it is a matter of speculation whether he got some sort of word from his lawyers in the United States that he would be released on bail." A Swiss lawyer for Khashoggi, Dominique Poncet, said a U.S. decision to drop some of the charges to meet Swiss extradition requirements had meant the Swiss government was likely to grant the U.S. request, making further appeal fruitless. A U.S. District Court in New York has charged that Khashoggi, along with Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, the California Overseas Bank of Los Angeles and several Americans, schemed to conceal the true ownership of more than $100 million in art and real estate it said was purchased by the Marcos family to hide assets. The new Philippines government has sought in U.S. courts to recover the Marcos' assets, which Manila has said were plundered from the state treasury. The U.S. indictment charged Khashoggi with racketeering, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and mail fraud. But the Swiss Justice Department said he was extradited on the understanding he would be tried only on charges of fraud and obstruction of justice. Under the U.S.-Swiss extradition treaty, Switzerland will extradite only for a crime that has an equivalent in Swiss law, a spokesman said. Swiss law has no equivalent of the U.S. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO, or of conspiracy, the communique said. Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles LaBella confirmed in New York that Khashoggi will be tried only on fraud and obstruction of justice charges, The Associated Press reported. Khashoggi's sojourn in jail and his flight under guard to stand trial in the United States -- even though first-class -- made a dramatic contrast with the jet-set style of living that made him famous. After he acquired a fortune acting as middleman for Saudi aircraft and weapons purchases, Khashoggi became a symbol of wealthy Arab businessmen in the 1970s. In more recent years, however, the money flow seemed to slow. Two of Khashoggi's airplanes were seized at a Paris airport against debts owed in London, and he sold his yacht. Khashoggi nevertheless remained an operator in international finance. He stepped in with a bridge loan when Oliver North, a member of president Ronald Reagan's national security staff, sought to win release of U.S. hostages in Beirut by selling weapons to Iran in what became the Iran-contra scandal.