Russian tycoon placed under investigation in France

Russian tycoon placed under investigation in France

Russian tycoon placed under investigation in France

According to Nice's public prosecutor Jean-Michel Pretr, French prosecutors have brought tax evasion and money laundering charges against the Russian lawmaker. Russia's diplomatic mission in France is also engaged in this work.

"The senator status and the fact that he is a Russian citizen is a guarantee that we will, of course, put in all possible efforts to defend his lawful interests", President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

Kerimov's fortune is estimated at $7.4 billion by Forbes magazine.

Russian officials said ownership of a diplomatic passport should protect the senator from prosecution in a foreign state.

Swiss financier Alexandre Studhalter - one of the three men charged - appealed the decision, denying he was a frontman for Kerimov, who is originally from Russia's North Caucasus region of Dagestan.

Shares of Polyus, Russia's biggest gold producer, were down by 3.2 percent in early trade in Moscow, after Suleiman Kerimov, whose family controls the company, was detained in France this week.

Kerimov, who is among the richest people in Russian Federation, was snatched by French law enforcement after arriving in Nice on Monday night.

The representative of the Federation Council, the head of the Committee for global Affairs Konstantin Kosachev has informed that Russia will stand up for the accused in France of Suleiman Kerimov.

In 2006, he crashed his Ferrari while speeding along Nice's seafront, sustaining severe burns.

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