31 October 2013 20:46 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Russian authorities announced on Thursday that the Moscow City Court will consider an appeal filed by Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner over his arrest in absentia on 6 November.
Currently held under house arrest status in Minsk, the fertilizer executive was arrested in Belarus on 26 August based on allegations that he had abused his authority as chairman of Belarusian Potash Co (BPC), the trading venture between potash producers Uralkali of Russia and Belaruskali of Belarus.
Earlier this month, the district court in Moscow issued an arrest warrant in absentia for Baumgertner following the decision by the Russian Investigative Committee to file abuse-of-office charges, with the agency announcing it would be submitting documents for the extradition.
Originally Belarus authorities had charged Baumgertner with abuse of power, but that charge has since been upgraded to embezzlement.
On the 28 October, the criminal investigation into Baumgertner was extended by two months despite both countries having engaged in discussions about returning the fertilizer executive to Russia to face prosecution for the alleged misdeeds.
Under the country’s law, investigators have two months to complete their inquiry, a deadline which passed on 26 October. But under certain circumstances, it can be extended by two months.
Political observers have speculated that Baumgertner would likely not face any substantial repercussions from the charges if indeed the case ever comes to trial in Russia.
Previously Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said he was open to releasing Baumgertner to Russia authorities if he was willing to accept paying for the alleged damages authorities claim were inflicted to the state-owned potash producer, Belaruskali.
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