Aleh Vouchak: Leaving Russia dangerous for Kerimov
15:58, — Politics
Suleyman Kerimov shouldn't leave Russia to avoid the arrest and extradition to Belarus.
Former prosecution investigator Aleh Vouchak, the head of the organisation Legal Assistance to Citizens, spoke to charter97.org about putting Suleyman Kerimov on the wanted list by the Belarusian Investigation Committee.
“It was clear in the beginning that initiating the criminal case and putting four BPC top managers on the international wanted list was wrong. To initiate a criminal case you need a witness and relative economic documents. Only after that an investigator and a prosecutor take a decision to open a criminal case. In this situation they need to study a heap of papers and carry out economic analyses. It takes more than one day. Even comments from Belarusian prosecutors show that the case is not prepared yet to accuse Uralkali of causing $100mn damage,” the lawyer noted.
At least nine months are needed to prepare such a case and bring charges against Kerimov, the human rights activist thinks.
“I know it from my own experience. Economists and tax inspectors must be invited to carry out evaluations involving economic agents. They conclude if the damage was caused to the Republic of Belarus or not,” the former prosecution investigators said.
“The Belarusian Criminal Procedure Code allows bringing charges in absentia. Belarus also can file these documents to Interpol, but it is the other side of the coin. If Kerimov is detained in a European country or in, for example, Kazakhstan, a local court will decide if the decision is legal. There were cases when people were set free for lack of evidence. The Belarusian authorities may send the same request to a Russian prosecutor's office that will have to detain and extradite the Russian oligarch to Belarus. In any case, it's dangerous for Kerimov to leave Russia. The situation of the arrest of Uralkali CEO shows that Russian business is in danger in Belarus,” Aleh Vouchak said.
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