© Reuters. The review of the Russian oligarch Kerimov cancelled
PARIS (Reuters) – The indictment for laundering of tax fraud by the Russian oligarch Souleimane Kerimov, loyal to Vladimir Putin, has been “totally cancelled” by the examining chamber of the court of appeal of Aix-en-Provence, it was learnt on Thursday with his lawyers.
These, Jacqueline Laffont, Pierre Haik and Nikita Sychev, challenged the indictment, arguing that the offense of tax evasion was not made up. The chamber of the instruction gave them reason.
The prosecutor general’s office still can challenge this decision and was advised that it was studying the possibility to appeal in cassation within five days.
According to a justice source, the business man is in particular suspected of having bought luxury villas on the Côte d’azur via dummy corporations, in which his name does not appear, which would have allowed him to reduce the amount of taxes owed to the French State.
His family controls Polyus, the Russian giant gold. Forbidden to leave the Alpes-Maritimes, he had obtained by January the exceptional authorization to return briefly in Russia.
The examining chamber of the court of appeal of Aix-en-Provence has also quashed the indictment and the judicial control of the swiss financial Alexander Studhalter, who is suspected of having served as a nominee, announced the lawyer of the latter in a press release.
“This cancellation allows you to restore the honor of Alexander Studhalter, including the presumption of innocence had been severely undermined,” writes including Me Bruno Quentin.
(Emmanuel Jarry, with Matthias Galante in Nice and Polina Devitt in Moscow, edited by Yves Clarisse)