Europe
Belarus seeks Russian billionaire on criminal charges
Last Updated: 2013-09-03 08:04 | Xinhua
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Belarusian authorities have launched a criminal investigation into Suleiman Kerimov, major shareholder of Russia's Uralkali company.

Minsk is seeking Kerimov's detention, including through an international arrest warrant, on charges that carry a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison, Belarusian Investigative Committee said Monday.

Belarusian investigators also said Kerimov had violated Russian law and promised to hand over evidence proving their allegations to Russia's Prosecutor General's Office.

Kerimov is Russia's 20th richest person with 7.1 billion U.S. dollars in wealth according to Forbes magazine. He owns 21.75 percent of Uralkali's shares

On August 26, Belarusian authorities detained Uralkali General Director Vladislav Baumgertner in Minsk on the same charge. He was chairman of the Belarusian Potash Company, a now-defunct joint venture between Uralkali and a Belarusian potash producer Belaruskali.

Uralkali announced on July 30 that it would end output restrictions that underpin world prices and halt exports through Belarusian Potash Company, which controlled 40 percent of global exports. Baumgertner's detention has drawn a fierce rebuke from Moscow.

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