The French court found the charges brought by the Nice Public Prosecutor's Office against the Russian senator Suleiman Kerimov unfounded. Earlier, local law enforcement officers accused Mr. Kerimov of involvement in fraud with real estate, but the court decided that the Russian businessman could not have known about the possible criminal plans of foreign citizens involved in transactions with the acquisition of mansions on the Cote d'Azur.
About the fact that the French court removed the charges from Suleiman Kerimov, it became known from lawyer Nikita Sychev, who works in this country and represents the interests of the Russian senator. Today, a court session was held in the courtroom, at which issues related to the planned trial in the case of Mr. Kerimov were to be resolved, so no news was expected. Nevertheless, the sensation took place: the court announced that it had decided to remove the charges from the Russian.
The motivation for the decision was not officially disclosed. According to Kommersant sources, the court ruled that Senator Kerimov could not have information about the possible criminal plans of other investigators, who are charged by the French law enforcement authorities with the multimillion-dollar non-payment of taxes in realizing transactions for the acquisition of real estate mostly on the Cote d'Azur, as well as money laundering.
The main figurant of this case is the Swiss businessman Alexander Studhalter, who by court decision in Nice is placed in custody. According to French law enforcement officers, it was Mr. Studhalter who acted as a front man in the purchase of villas and other objects.
In total, the investigation involves more than a dozen people, while in the case of 12 episodes, and the total damage is estimated at about € 1 billion.
As part of the investigation, the police studied the circumstances of Suleiman Kerimov's acquisition of Hier Villa and three other properties in Cap d'Antibes. As a result, law enforcement authorities put forward a version that the Russian senator could be an accessory to the criminal schemes attributed to Mr. Studhalter.
However, the local court did not have full confidence in these assumptions, and he twice rejected the petitions of the prosecutor's office about the arrest of Mr. Kerimov. As a result, the senator was released on bail € 40 million. According to The Bell, Suleiman Kerimov will now be held on the case as a witness. Mr. Kerimov has already been returned a pledge and given personal documents, and he again can freely move around the world.
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