Russia requests Baumgertner's extradition
16:20, — Politics
General's Office of Russia had formally requested the extradition of Vladislav Baumgertner.
RIA Novosti reported on Tuesday with reference to a representative of the Prosecutor General's Office of Russia that the Office had formally requested the extradition of Vladislav Baumgertner, director general of Russian potash company Uralkali who is currently under house arrest in Minsk.
The Prosecutor General's Office would like to inform the public in response to numerous inquiries by the media that the Office had examined the Investigative Committee's appeal for Mr. Baumgertner's extradition and filed an application with the Prosecutor General's Office of Belarus on October 22 to extradite the suspect, the source said.
Earlier on Tuesday, RIA Novosti reported that the documents necessary to apply for Mr. Baumgertner's extradition had been sent by the Investigative Committee of Russia to the Prosecutor General's Office on October 18.
On October 21, the Basmanny District Court in Moscow ordered Mr. Baumgertner's arrest at the request of the Investigative Committee of Russia. The Committee charged Mr. Baumgertner with abuse of office.
Vladislav Baumgertner was arrested on August 26 as he was about to fly out of Minsk after a meeting with Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich.
The Investigative Committee of Belarus said after the arrest that Mr. Baumgertner, who chaired the supervisory board of Belarusian Potash Company (BPC), was suspected of abuse of office and so were four other Russian executives who combined their duties in BPC and Russia's potash company Uralkali. They include Oleg Petrov, a member of BPC's supervisory board; Konstantin Solodovnikov, first deputy director general; Igor Yevstratov, deputy director general; Dmitry Samoilov, head of the freight department, and "other people."
A few days later, Belarusian authorities instituted criminal proceedings against Russian billionaire and Uralkali's top shareholder Suleiman Kerimov.
The case is linked to Uralkali's July 30 decision to de facto quit BPC, its joint trading arm with Belarusian potash giant Belaruskali. Belarusian investigators said in August that "criminal" actions by Mr. Baumgertner and other Uralkali managers had caused Belarus up to $100 million in damage. The Investigative Committee warned later that the amount of the damage could be revised upward.
Mr. Lukashenka said last month that the charge against Mr. Baumgertner had been changed from abuse of office to embezzlement.
Mr. Lukashenka warned on October 21 that Mr. Baumgertner would be extradited to Russia only if Belarus received "compensation" for Uralkali's actions.
"Until we get more damage, let them compensate for this amount," he told CIS media leaders in Minsk. "If they compensate us for the damage, we will make some moves to hand over Baumgertner [to Russia]."
An appeal against the Basmanny District Court's October 21 ruling is expected to be heard in the Moscow City Court on November 6.
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