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Moscow vows to protect detained lawmaker Kerimov's rights

December 15, 2017, 14:58 UTC+3

Russian lawmaker Suleiman Kerimov was arrested by French police at Nice’s airport overnight into November 21

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Suleiman Kerimov

Suleiman Kerimov

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, December 15./TASS/. Moscow will make every effort to protect the rights of senior lawmaker Suleiman Kerimov if it sees his rights violated, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.

"Any way, if the rights of Suleiman Kerimov are violated this way or another, the Russian side will certainly do its best to ensure these rights for its national and senator. In case these rights are violated," the spokesman added.

The spokesman said "lawyers are currently working there [in France on the case of Kerimov]. So in this case only they can currently work on the settlement of a disputable situation that has emerged," he added. "Certainly," Peskov said when asked whether the Kremlin was monitoring the situation around Kerimov.

In reply to the query what the Kremlin thought about Kerimov’s taking money out of the country, Peskov warned "We cannot take this information as confirmed and proved". "Let us wait for the legal settlement of the dispute that is now discussed in France," he suggested. He declined to say whether the Russian prosecution service will be verifying data from their French colleagues.

Kerimov’s detention

Federation Council member Suleiman Kerimov was arrested by French police at Nice’s airport overnight into November 21. On the following day, he was charged under the article "Money laundering and tax evasion." On December 6, the Aix-en-Provence court of appeals ruled that Kerimov will not be placed into custody and will stay free on his own recognizance, but court control will be tightened and the bail will be increased from 5 mln to 40 mln euros.

Since then, Kerimov cannot leave the Alpes-Maritimes department and has to regularly report to a local police station.

The case was then submitted to the investigating magistrate who is currently conducting pre-trial checks. All the actions conducted by the investigating magistrate are protected by the secrecy of investigation. Nice Prosecutor Jean-Michel Pretre earlier told TASS that the pre-trial investigation into Kerimov’s case will last "at least six months.".

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