On Wednesday, Just hours after his arrest in the French Rivera resort was protested by Moscow, Senator Suleyman Kerimov, the Russian billionaire was charged with tax fraud in France.
On Monday, he was held at the airport just upon arrival. There he faced questioning for a couple of days, over tax evasion that included luxury properties bought by him.
As noted by the state prosecutor, J.Michel Pretre, with restriction made to his movement, he has been released on conditions of handing over his passport and posting bail worth five million euros.
Russian MPs have already demanded that Moscow press for his release while calling the incident a violation to the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The Russian government has since summoned French deputy ambassador as regards the detention.
Kremlin Spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov said, “the senator position and the fact that he is a Russian citizen is an assurance that we will, of course, put in all possible effect to defend his interest. He noted that Kerimov owns a diplomatic passport though this was not used on his travel to Nice.
On the other hand, though French foreign minister’s spokesman noted that Kerimov’s immunity is limited to “to actions carried out in the exercise of his functions, “ leaving all else to the judge.
Kerimov net worth reaches up to 6.3 billion dollars, listed by Forbes as Russia 21th richest person, with involvement in Russian energy, banking, and mining.
The investigation on his tax evasion was stated before now with charges raised by two Swiss businessmen and a tax lawyer.
Kerimov controlled one of his countries football clubs, anzhi Makhachkala, known for been expensive, with millions spent on the purchase of individual high-class players including Real Madrid and Barcelona legends, Roberto Carlos and Samuel Eto’o respectively. He has since dropped that due to loss of fortune.