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Belarus to pass evidence in the Uralkali case against several Russian citizens to Russian authorities

September 16, 2013, 16:31 UTC+3
Russian and Belarusian prosecution agreed on cooperation
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Baumgernter's lawyer Dmitry Goryachko at the Minsk City Couty. Photo ITAR-TASS/ Sergei Balay

Baumgernter's lawyer Dmitry Goryachko at the Minsk City Couty. Photo ITAR-TASS/ Sergei Balay

MOSCOW, September 16 (Itar-Tass) - Belarus will pass the evidence in the Uralkali potash criminal case against several Russian citizens in the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, Belarusian Prosecutor General Aleksander Konyuk said in a telephone conversation with Russian Deputy Prosecutor General Aleksander Zvyagintsev on Monday, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office told Itar-Tass.

“Aleksandr Konyuk said during the conversation he had decided that the materials regarding the Russian citizens involved in the criminal proceedings instituted against the Uralkali company and presently studied by the Belarusian investigative bodies be considered separately and referred to the Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office to be further studied by Russian law enforcement agencies,” said the source.

“The Belarusian prosecutor-general had already given such instructions to the investigative bodies of the republic, of which he informed Zvyagintsev,” said the source.

Belarusian Prosecutor-General Aleksandr Konyuk told reporters on September 14 that the prosecutor-general’s offices of the Republic of Belarus and of the Russian Federation agreed to cooperate in the investigation of the criminal case involving the Belarusian Potash Company (BKK). He said Prosecutor-General of Russia Yuri Chaika had expressed the readiness to give juridical assistance to Belarusian law enforcement bodies in accordance with international agreements.

“The Belarusian side does not object to this proposal and has made a positive decision on the prosecutor-general’s address,” Konyuk said. He said he had made a directive to refer the materials related to the Russian citizens involved in the case to the Prosecutor-General’s Office of the Russian Federation.

September 14 Belarusian Prosecutor General Alexander Konyuk told journalists that the prosecution of Belarus and Russia agreed to cooperate with regards to the criminal case involving the Belarusian Potash Company. According to the official, Russia’s Prosecutor General Yuri Tchaika expressed willingness to assist to Belarusian counterparts in accordance to international agreements. Konyuk added that he ordered to separately process material gathered on Russian citizens for the “potash case” and submit it to the Russian authorities.

On September 2, it was reported that the Belarusian Investigative Committee was prosecuting Suleiman Kerimov as a defendant in the criminal case, which is being investigated against the officials in the closed joint stock Belarusian Potash Company.

The Investigative Committee emphasized that Kerimov’s actions are classified by the investigation as abuse of office; the maximum sentence for this crime is a jail term of up to 10 years with confiscation of property. Moreover, the Investigative Committee noted that apart from discovered instances of inflicting damages upon the Belarusian side, the investigation uncovered other activity which caused significant damage to Russia and are classified as crimes under Russian law.

The Investigation Committee of Belarus initiated criminal proceedings on charges of power abuse and official misconduct against another four top officials of the Belarusian Potash Company, including Oleg Petrov, a supervisory board member; Konstantin Solodovnikov, the company’s first deputy general director; Igor Yevstratov, the deputy general director for finance; Dmitry Samoilov, the head of the freight department. Both the Belarusian police and Interpol put them on their wanted lists.

All of them, including Vladislav Baumgertner, are accused of official misconduct which significantly damaged the state and public interests of Belarus, the Belaruskaliy open joint-stock company and the Belarusian Potash Company.

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