MOSCOW, January 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Former CEO of Russian potash giant Uralkali Vladislav Baumgertner accused of abuse of power is left under house arrest.
“Court ruled that a request from the detectives to extend house arrest to Baumgertner for two months and 25 days should be satisfied,” Judge Artur Karpov announced the court verdict of Basmanny court in Moscow on Thursday.
Baumgertner will be kept under house arrest until April 14. Before this the term of investigation in his affair was extended.
The court verdict noted that assessing material produced in the criminal case and its details, as well as Baumgertner’s personal faculties, the court ruled that being at large he may escape justice, may exert pressure on witnesses and other participants in the trial, may continue his criminal activity or obstruct the investigation in some other way. The detective noted that Baumgertner has real estate abroad and accounts in foreign banks.
Before April 14 detectives plan to finalize preliminary investigation, including “questioning officials of Uralkali and other organizations.”
The court also took into account the severity of accusation that envisages over three years in prison.
The former Uralkali CEO asked to release him from custody and insisted that his house arrest be unnecessary. “I have spent six months under house arrest, gave all testimony, which detectives were interested in and did not exert pressure on anyone,” he said. “I oblige to behave in the same way in the future,” he added.
Asked about his state of health by the judge Baumgertner said it is satisfactory. The defendant noted that he suffers from several chronic diseases.
Baumgertner’s lawyer Mikhail Shashkov asked to release his client on a bail of 15 million rubles ($449.7 thousand). The lawyer noted that “Baumgertner is on the 100 top of Russian presidential staff reserve,” but “accidental people cannot be put on this list.”
However, the court did not find it possible to impose this measure of restraint on Baumgertner because it did not provide for enforcement of restriction on him. The judge has left these restrictions in force in the Thursday court ruling. So, the defendant is banned from leaving his current residence in the flat of his father in Staropimenovsky Bystreet in Moscow with a permit of the detective. He is also banned from using any communication devices and talking to anyone except for several relatives, lawyers and the detective. The court has also restricted Baumgertner in walks. He can go on walks every day within the Garden Ring from 19:00 until 21:00 Moscow time.
After the court session Baumgertner’s lawyer stated that he would appeal the court verdict.
The former chief executive officer of Russian largest potash company Uralkali was detained in Minsk in August on suspicion of embezzlement. On November 20, Belarusian Prosecutor General’s Office agreed to extradite him to Russia. Baumgertner was convoyed to a detention center in Moscow. In Russia Baumgertner was charged with abuse of power. In December the court has changed the measure of restraint against him to house arrest.
On December 23, Uralkali Board of Directors decided to relieve Baumgertner from the post of the company general director from December 24, 2013. Deputy chair of Uralkhim Board of Directors Dmitry Osipov was appointed to the position. Meanwhile, Baumgertner was left in Uralkali Board of Directors.
“Decision for appointment of a new general director was taken over latest changes in composition of main stockholders of the company,” chairman of Uralkali Board of Directors Aleksander Voloshin commented on the appointment. “All of us are supporting Vladislav in these hard times for him and do not change our position over his innocence and hope that all current problems will be settled within the shortest period of time,” he said.
Uralkali is one of leading of world potash producers with more than 20 percent share in global potash production. The assets of the company include five potash mines and seven dressing plants situated in the Ural cities of Berezniki and Solikamsk, Perm Territory.