Russian Federation summons French envoy over arrest of oligarch Kerimov

Frederick Owens
November 23, 2017

A public prosecutor said in Nice Wednesday Kerimov would appear in court to be formally placed under judicial investigation, which frequently results in a trial in France.

Russian diplomats are engaged in dialogue with the French authorities on the situation around Kerimov's detention, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, stressing that Kerimov possessed a diplomatic passport. This would have enabled Kerimov to reduce the taxes owed to the French purse.

Kerimov's arrest prompted an angry response from Russian members of parliament, who approved a resolution denouncing it as a violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

In the course of communication with journalists the representative of the Kremlin said that at the moment the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation conducts active actions in connection with the detention of the victim.

"He is being held for questioning in a case related to laundering of tax fraud proceeds", an official at the prosecutor's office said.

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Listed by Forbes magazine as Russia's 21st richest person with an estimated net worth of $6.3 billion (5.4 billion euros), Kerimov made his fortune during the privatisations that followed the break-up of the Soviet Union.

Recall that Suleiman Kerimov, was detained by the airport in nice.

Swiss financier Alexandre Studhalter - one of the three men charged - appealed the decision, denying he was a frontman for Kerimov, who is originally from Russia's North Caucasus region of Dagestan.

Kerimov's family now controls Russia's largest gold producer Polyus, where his son is the legal owner of the majority stake.

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