The Belarusian Investigative Committee has decided that Suleyman Kerimov, Uralkali’s major stockholder, is subject to arrest, Pavel Travulka, spokesman for the State Security Committee (KGB), says. The Russian citizen is put on wanted list, an international arrest warrant also having been issued against him.
Kerimov’s actions are classified as abuse of office; in case of his extradition to Belarus Mr Kerimov will face up to 10 years of imprisonment with confiscation of property. Moreover, the Investigative Committee has uncovered that Messrs Kerimov, Baumgertner and other defendants performed the acts which caused significant damage to Russia and are classified as crimes under Russian law as well, the spokesman stated.
According to Mr Travulka, the Belarusian side is ready to assist to Russia’s prosecution in investigating the incident, including looking into information suggesting Kerimov’s possible links with criminal groups in the Caucusus region.
Vladislav Baumgertner, director general of Russian potash company Uralkali and chairman of the supervisory board of Belarusian Potash Company (BPC), was arrested on August 26, 2013. He is accused of abuse of office under Article 424 of the Criminal Code.
In addition, criminal proceedings were initiated against some BPC executives. These include Oleg Petrov, a member of the company’s supervisory board; Konstantin Solodovnikov, first deputy director general; Igor Yevstratov, deputy director general; Dmitry Samoilov, head of the freight department, and “other people”. The four named suspects, all Russian citizens, are also employees of Uralkali.
The criminal case is apparently linked to Uralkali’s July, 30 decision to stop exports through BPC, its joint trader with Belaruskali.