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Zeltser and Funk want $140m from Belneftekhim  ? 29

10:51, — Politics

Zeltser and Funk want $140m from Belneftekhim

American national Zeltser and his assistant sue a Belarusian company.

US citizen Emanuel Zeltser and his assistant Vladlena Funk sue Belneftekhim company, which, they claim, was behind their abduction by KGB agents in 2008, Radio Svaboda reports.

KGB agents spike the coffees of the lawyer and his assistant with sedatives in a London café. The drugged victims are whisked off to Belarus on a Russian oligarchs private jet. They were beaten and detained in penal colonies on trumped-up charges of espionage for more than a year, The Daily News writes.

A 26-page, $140 million personal injury lawsuit was landed in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Belneftekhim's spokesperson Maryna Kastsiuchenka comments on the information:

Belneftekhim has never dealt and don't deal with Mr Zeltser and Ms Funk. We don't know why they have claims to the company.

Belneftekhim declined to comment whether the company received requests from the American law-enforcement bodies.

The company doesn't comment on what its interests can be affected in the US in connection with Zeltser's suit.

Zeltser and his secretary Vladlena Funk were detained on March 12, 2008. In August, Zeltser was sentenced to 3 and Funk to a year in jail for possession of fake documents and attempted commercial espionage. Both didn't admit their guilt.

The Supreme Court of Belarus upheld the decision on October 31. All trials were held behind closed doors.

The US repeatedly called on the Belarusian authorities to release Zeltser on humanitarian grounds, because his health significantly deteriorated in prison.

Aliaksandr Lukashenka met with American congressmen in Minsk on June 30. The Belarusian ruler promised to free Zeltser and signed a pardon decree. Emanuel Zeltser was released from the Mahilou correctional facility on the evening of June 30.

Zeltser and Funk already filed a $70m lawsuit against the Belarusian company to Kings County Supreme Court in 2012.

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