Vladislav Baumgertner has asked his lawyers not to give any comments on his criminal case.
“At our defendant’s request, we will refrain from any comments concerning the case,” lawyer Hanna Slavina told news agency Interfax.
Baumgertner’s attorneys refused to disclose whether their defendant was aware of Russia’s initiating a criminal case against him after studying evidence passed by Belarusian investigators, BelaPAN reports.
“The case file [passed by Belarus] suggests that while performing their managerial functions at business entities, the said managers abused their powers, using them contrary to the lawful interests of these entities and for the purpose of obtaining benefits and advantages for other people, which entailed considerable harm and grave consequences for Belarusian Potash Company and Belaruskali,” BelaPAN quotes the Investigative Committee as saying .
During the recent press conference for representatives of Russian media Aliaksandr Lukashenka called Baumgertner “a snotty boy” and make an attempt to assure Russian journalists that the case would not poison relations between Belarus and Russia. “During our meeting with Putin I told him there was no point marring our government-to-government and personal relations because of some Baumgertner and Kerimov,” he said.
According to the Belarusian President, Minsk did not receive requests for Mr Baumgertner’s extradition to Russia. “You may put him into a cell in Butyrka,” he said, referring to a Moscow jail. “You may conduct your own investigation. We will help you. He has caused you more harm. But there have been no such requests so far.”
Vladislav Baumgertner, director general of Russian potash company Uralkali and chairman of the supervisory board of Belarusian Potash Company (BPC), was handcuffed at the airport on August 26, 2013. As Mr Baungertner was in Minsk on the personal invitation of Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Miasnikovich the arrest immediately escalated into an international scandal. He is accused of abuse of office under Article 424 of the Criminal Code. At the moment Mr Baumgertner is under home arrest in Minsk.
The criminal case is apparently linked to Uralkali’s July, 30 decision to stop exports through BPC, its joint trader with Belaruskali. Uralkali’s board decided on July, 29 that the company would export its fertilizers exclusively through a subsidiary trader called Uralkali Trading.
On September 2, 2013 The Belarusian Investigative Committee decided that Suleiman Kerimov, Uralkali’s major stockholder, was also subject to arrest.